Asymmetric Power and the Need for a ‘Katechon’ in the Anthropocene

Friday | 13.11.20 | 12:00

Lecture |

Theological Thought and the Anthropocene Reading Group is delighted to host a lecture by

Prof. Michael. S. Northcott

The earliest legal codes of ancient Mesopotamia and Israel specified that the defining purpose of just governance was to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak and to uphold the cause of the poor. When rulers rule in such a way that the poor receive justice and the children of the needy are saved from want, then it is said in the Tanakh that “the mountains shall bring peace to the people” and “showers shall water the earth” (Psalm 72:3, 6). The climate and ecological crises, and the current COVID-19 crisis, increase the extent to which the powerful oppress the weak, but they do so through the power of systems: the Earth system and technological systems that are both now dominated by global corporations and intergovernmental agencies. In this lecture Prof. Northcott asks in what the “restraining power” or “katechon” against such asymmetric power might be found.


Prof. Michael. S. Northcott, Indonesian Consortium of Religious Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada Graduate School

Opening remarks:

Dr. Hagi Boaz, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Dr. Ofri Ilany, the Polonsky Academy, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

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