"Isaiah speaks of singing mountains and hills, and trees that clap their hands. How can a tree that has had strange fruit hanging from it rejoice? Because even in the midst of pain and intense suffering, God’s grace abounds."
"What constitutes a livable, grievable life? What does it mean to be alive? For those of us who have, historically, had a fraught relationship to and with the land, with animals, with machines, how do we write about this thing called Nature? How do we love it?"
Jea Sophia Oh, “Watching Avatar through Deleuzian 3D, Desire, Deterritorialization, and Doubling: A Postcolonial Eco-Theological Review.” Journal of Postcolonial Networks Vo1. 1, Issue 1 (September 2011): 1-27.
By employing Deleuzian conceptualizations of “desire,” “deterritorialization,” and “doubling,”1 this study examines Avatar (James Cameron’s 2009 film) as a hybridity of becoming the Other. I will sketch the contours of an oppositional politics within the figure of Empire (or the American capitalist empire which is almost always transcendental). The binary structure of the movie oscillates between two utterly opposing modalities (deploying high-tech military force against eco-friendly indigenous culture, weapons against trees, killing to healing, earth to space, human to nonhuman-nature, white skin against blue skin, etc.) This dualistic tension seems...
Zachariah, George. Alternatives Unincorporated: Earth Ethics from the Grassroots. London: Equinox, 2011.
As the title of this book suggests – the contents do offer, not just a creative use of language but an alternative discourse to how we have thus far understood eco-theology and environmental ethics. The author, the Indian ethicist George Zachariah, suggests in his introduction that the book will “construct an earth ethics from the grassroots” which will be informed by “the crucible of subaltern political praxis”. In the rest of the book he unravels his conviction that social movements are a theological text in themselves “as discursive sites” for a “life affirming, communitarian and liberating” subaltern earth ethics.
Chapter 1 “No Rising Tide: Religion, Economics, and Empire”: If one sees economics as a life or death issue, as Rieger suggests, one must not leave economics alone to the economists (3). The study’s mission in No Rising Tide is to not only join the number of theology and religion scholars who inquire about economics as a theological project, but to respond to the truth claims being made by the evangelists of laisse-faire capitalism. Economics cannot exist without some otherworldly hope in which its norms are sanctioned and economic theories often go unchallenged in their “embedded and unquestioned conceptions” pertaining to the nature of humanity, creation, or the transcendent (8).
We do not know or have never confronted Haiti’s pain. We have talked about it. Written about it incessantly. Some have actually engaged with it. Still we have never sat with it in its rawest form and let it be. It has always been smothered. Shhhhhh. Not in public and certainly not in mixed company.
Jay Larson Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Jesus and Justice: Evangelicals, Race and American Politics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).
From time to time it is good to step outside of one’s concentrated area of focus to remind oneself that great people exist who are doing excellent and relevant work […]