Saturday, June 27, 2015

On the theology of "Laudato Si"

Pope Francis uses theology to foreground nature, with God being the force of eminence that shoots through and connects all things: “the universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul. But also to discover God in all things.” This isn’t simply rehabilitating something outside of man that man has destroyed.

The pope’s method of thinking about nature by bringing humans back into it, has a lot in common with Morton’s idea of a “dark ecology,” or “ecology without nature.” Morton considers a separation between man and nature detrimental to environmental thought: “Putting something called Nature on a pedestal and admiring it from afar does for the environment what patriarchy does for the figure of Woman. It is a paradoxical act of sadistic admiration.” Morton’s ecology is “dark” because humans are already bound up in its “irony, ugliness, and horror,” and so lack objective ground from which to theorize.
H/t Tim Morton.

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