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Tuesday, October 27, 2020 • 11:00am • Online, via Zoom
Join us for a discussion with Whitney Bauman on the intersection of religion, science, and ecology as he examines how ideas of progress govern orientations toward time, which, in turn, shape human relationships with the natural world.
The twin and related phenomena of globalization and climate change have been exacerbated since the beginning of the so-called “great acceleration” following WWII. The increase in speed of transportation, communication, and production technologies have helped to create what some call the “space-time crunch,” but Bauman calls fossil-fueled reality. In other words, the acceleration of our fossil-fueled realities are literally outstripping the carrying capacity of the planet—all in the name of progress. This talk explores how “pandemic times” have shown a light onto the problems of fossil fueled times. From environmental degradation, climate change, and mass extinction to issues of sexism, racism, and ethnocentrism, humans and other earth bodies can no longer bear the weight of the “slow violence” of fossil-fueled realities. Might we be able to re-attune our thought and actions away from the speed of fossil-fueled time and toward an understanding of the multiple times that make up the planetary community? The times of trees and rivers, rocks and bees as well as the times of human bodies cannot be forced into fossil-fueled time without huge costs. What would it mean to re-attune to planetary times (multiple, bubbling, and open), planetary bodies (entangled and porous), and planetary knowing (decolonial, critical and multiple)?
About the speaker:
Whitney Bauman is associate professor of religious studies at Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is also co-founder and co-director of Counterpoint: Navigating Knowledge, a non-profit based in Berlin, Germany that holds public discussions over social and ecological issues related to globalization and climate change. His areas of research interest fall under the theme of religion, science, and globalization. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Humboldt Fellowship. His publications include: Religion and Ecology: Developing a Planetary Ethic (Columbia University Press 2019), and co-authored with Kevin O’Brien, Environmental Ethics and Uncertainty: Tackling Wicked Problems (Routledge 2019). He is currently working on a manuscript about the 19th Century, German, Romantic Scientist Ernst Haeckel.
This event is supported in part by a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust for the project, “Beyond Secularization: A New Approach to Religion, Science and Technology in Public Life.”