From the Anthropocene to a New Axial Age
Theological Thought and the Anthropocene Reading Group
Thursday | 17.12.20 | 17:00
by Prof. Bronislaw Szerszynski
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: Hagaib@vanleer.org.il
Prof. Bronislaw Szerszynski, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University
Dr. Hagai Boas, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Dr. Ofri Ilany, Polonsky Academy, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute