2018 ~ Sunday January 21: Roaming Assembly #18 ~ UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD AND BACK: 'Confronting the Anthropocene: Movement, Eschatology and the Future' ~ by Julian Reid
Confronting the Anthropocene: Movement, Eschatology and the Future
by Julian Reid
The Anthropocene describes the collapse of belief in the human capacity to secure itself from the threats and dangers it locates in its world, and the hysteria related to the sense of its endemic vulnerability. Confidence in the future is displaced by a fear for the coming end of the human. This is portended by a range of catastrophic events that are no longer perceived as possibilities, but as inevitabilities which the human must learn to accept, and adjust its expectations in accordance with. On the one hand, the Anthropocene would seem to offer a radical break from the modern, a collapse of the modernist hubris which engendered the very practices that led to the predicament the human now finds itself in. But in other ways, it can be seen to have been constitutive of modernity, as well as having deeper historical, philosophical, political and theological roots which lead us back to the origins of the West itself.
In this lecture Reid will argue that the Anthropocene presents us with the challenge of how to recover our belief in this world, our place in it, and most notably in our own abilities to master it and to subject it to singular human powers of imagination and creation, in the face of regimes of knowledge which would otherwise have us believe in the inevitability of our own demise, of miserable vulnerability and future failures. This challenge requires equipping ourselves with techniques that share the same histories and roots as the Anthropocene itself, drawing as they do from the poetic imagination of the modern, as well as from the eschatological imagination of various theologies older than the West itself.