American Immanence

Democracy for an Uncertain World

Michael S. Hogue

Columbia University Press

American Immanence

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Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9780231172332

256 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9780231172325

256 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£70.00

Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9780231547116

256 Pages

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American Immanence

Democracy for an Uncertain World

Michael S. Hogue

Columbia University Press

The Anthropocene marks the age of significant human impact on the Earth’s ecosystems, dramatically underscoring the reality that human life is not separate from nature but an integral part of it. Culturally, ecologically, and socially destructive practices such as resource extraction have led to this moment of peril. These practices, however, implicate more than industrial and economic systems: they are built into the political theology of American exceptionalism, compelling us to reimagine human social and political life on Earth.

American Immanence seeks to replace the dominant American political tradition, which has resulted in global social, economic, and environmental injustices, with a new form of political theology, its dominant feature a radical democratic politics. Michael S. Hogue explores the potential of a dissenting immanental tradition in American religion based on philosophical traditions of naturalism, process thought, and pragmatism. By integrating systems theory and concepts of vulnerability and resilience into the lineages of American immanence, he articulates a political theology committed to democracy as an emancipatory and equitable way of life. Rather than seeking to redeem or be redeemed, Hogue argues that the vulnerability of life in the Anthropocene calls us to build radically democratic communities of responsibility, resistance, and resilience. American Immanence integrates an immanental theology of, by, and for the planet with a radical democratic politics of, by, and for the people.
How at this moment of American precarity can one book combine such precise prophetic timeliness with so vast a conceptual apparatus? How can it remain at once lucidly engaging in its activating rhetoric and philosophically nuanced in its theopolitics? How can it bring home to us the planetary force of anthropocene uncertainty without one bout of apocalyptic hysteria? Read Hogue and learn how! Catherine Keller, author of Cloud of the Impossible and On the Mystery
"American immanence," "the fourth trial of democracy," "a bifocal political theology," "the Anthropocene paradox"—with these explosive concepts, Hogue provides us with activist, democratic ways to think and respond to the contemporary tradition. Both drawing and working upon James, Dewey, and Whitehead to come to terms with the contemporary condition, this book inspires and illuminates the democratic Left at the same time. A necessary read today. William E. Connolly, author of Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming
This is one of the finest integrations of complex streams of American thought that I have read in a long time. Hogue has given us a theopolitical vision of "nature" that is at once philosophically stirring and religiously relevant to the perplexities of our Anthropocene paradox. American Immanence draws upon James, Dewey, Whitehead, and their lineage to make a sophisticated case for pragmatic naturalism. It is elegant, erudite, and morally urgent. Nancy Frankenberry, Dartmouth College
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. American Exceptionalism and the Redeemer Symbolic
2. The Anthropocene and Climate Wickedness
3. Thinking, Feeling, and Valuing Immanence: American Immanental Philosophies
4. Divining Immanence: American Immanental Theologies
5. Toward a Theopolitics of Resilient Democracy
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Michael S. Hogue is professor of theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School. He is the author of The Tangled Bank: Toward an Ecotheological Ethic of Responsible Participation (2008) and The Promise of Religious Naturalism (2010).