From the Anthropocene to a New Axial Age

Theological Thought and the Anthropocene Reading Group

Thursday | 17.12.20 | 17:00

Lecture |

by Prof. Bronislaw Szerszynski

Invitees only 

Earth scientists have proposed that the activities of a technologically enhanced humanity are tipping the Earth and its subsystems out of the Holocene into a new and uncertain state that should be called “the Anthropocene.” How might we think about the Anthropocene through the lens of religion and the sacred? In any new geo-spiritual formations that might emerge—any new, more-or-less stable configurations of humans, nonhumans, spiritual beings, and Earth processes—what forms might religion take and what roles might it perform?

In this talk Prof. Szerszynski explores such questions in a series of “theory-fictions.” Borrowing Karl Jaspers’ idea of the Axial Age, he presents the cultures and religions of the Earth over the coming century as undergoing a Second Axial Age, a radical shift in thinking and praxis, involving a deeper awareness of being as conditioned by the dynamic material becoming of the universe on multiple spatial and temporal scales.

For more information:


Prof. Bronislaw Szerszynski, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University

Opening remarks:

Dr. Hagai Boas, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

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

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