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Archive for the ‘Spirit matter’ Category

Here’s a hypothesis: If the human community exists in some more or less unified form in 880 years (in the year 3000 by our calendar), that feat will have been accomplished, at least in part, in and through the emergence of an ecological religion. What does this mean, and how could we test it? Religion, […]

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Wow, what a reaction the article described here has gotten… This version includes a follow-up comment below. Jonathan Franzen’s “What If We Stopped Pretending?” articulates an important point about hope and hopelessness in the face of climate change. Franzen suggests that an “all-out war on climate change” no longer makes sense because the scenario for […]

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A Guardian article making the rounds on social media argues that the mindfulness movement has become “the new capitalist spirituality” — “magical thinking on steroids,” which instead of overturning the “neoliberal order,” now “only serves to reinforce its destructive logic.” This “McMindfulness,” as Ronald Purser calls it, has been “stripped of the teachings on ethics […]

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Okay, so I watched Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding (not so much intentionally as to enjoy the loving company of my co-habitants) and was impressed by the tension between Bishop Michael Curry’s sermonizing on love and the dour and perplexed faces of many of the royal-loving Brits in the audience. Diana Evans’ Guardian piece gets […]

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This course (an Honors College course I’m happy to be to teaching this year) is already in progress, but I’d be curious to hear any comments on it. What would you include in a comparative overview of spiritual practices? What’s missing?  Self-Cultivation and Spiritual Practice: Comparative Perspectives This course introduces students to the comparative study […]

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Here’s something I’ve written to accompany a reading and discussion of Arturo Escobar’s piece “Thinking-feeling with the Earth: Territorial Struggles and the Ontological Dimensions of the Epistemologies of the South,” which I proposed as my suggested reading contribution for an intro graduate class in Environment and Society. I’m sharing it here as a brief think-piece.  […]

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Here’s the abstract I’ve just sent in for the keynote I’ll be giving at the Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource conference in Oslo in February:

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Three things have drawn me repeatedly to the red rock landscape around the small north-central Arizona city of Sedona. First, and most obvious, is the landscape itself, which counts among the most distinctive and stunningly beautiful in the world. Second is the set of processes that landscape has set in motion in the conditions of late capitalist […]

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Interviews are funny things: you have to think on the spot, but later realize how deeply and profoundly imperfect (!) was your choice of words. The Imperfect Buddha Podcast has an interview with me in which host Matthew O’Connor (of Post-Traditional Buddhism) and I talk at length about Buddhism, process-relational metaphysics, panpsychism, social constructionism, cognitive science, […]

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While I’ve done no formal surveys, my best guess is that about half my students here at the U of Vermont (at least those in Environmental Studies) would fit into the category of “religiously unaffiliated,” the so-called “religious Nones” — a category that now makes up almost 1 in 4 Americans and over a third of those […]

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As the world’s refugee crisis builds — reminding us that much worse movements of people loom ahead, and much worse wars, as climate systems destabilize and the capitalist world-ecology unravels in the decades and centuries ahead — I can’t help asking myself what, if anything, philosophy can offer in response. It depends on which philosophy, of course. But […]

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Now that Laudato Si, the Papal Encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home,” is available for all to read, the punditocracy can debate it to their hearts’ content. As the most far-reaching statement by the single largest (relatively united) religious denomination on the planet, it is likely to have an immense impact on global conversations around […]

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