Bruno Latour’s upcoming Gifford Lectures sound remarkable. See ANTHEM for the details.
There could be no better theme for a lecture series on natural religion than that of Gaia, this puzzling figure that has emerged recently in public discourse from Earth science as well as from many activist and spiritual movements. The problem is that the expression of “natural religion” is somewhat of a pleonasm, since Western definitions of nature borrow so much from theology. The set of lectures attempts to decipher the face of Gaia in order to redistribute the notions that have been packed too tightly into the composite notion of ‘’natural religion’’.
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A search for collective rituals should begin with works of art and experiments able to explore in sufficient detail the scientific and political composition of the common world.
Perhaps the promise of Latour’s work — aside from its sociological and science-studies import — is reaching a new culmination as the religious and ecological threads he’s been toying with for so long come to their mutual fruition.
Thanks to Adam for the head’s-up.