Studies in Christian Ethics 34 (2):209-222 (2021)

As the detrimental effects of human agency loom large in the ‘Anthropocene’, theologians and philosophers have called for restraint by invoking the concept of kenosis. Although a ‘self-emptying’ form of life helps to counter the ways that humans are increasingly driving other species to extinction, we argue that such calls are often compromised by relying on notions of the Creator’s own attenuated or self-limited agency. They therefore trade in a competitive construal that is susceptible to the tendency of human agency to either displace, or project itself upon, all other agencies, inadvertently perpetuating the ‘human epoch’. In their place, we critically develop the new direction in kenotic theology that speaks of divine self-realization in history through ‘deep incarnation’. Our constructive proposal argues for a more thoroughgoing recognition of both the transcendence of divine agency and, as a corollary, the diverse agencies of our fellow creatures.
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DOI 10.1177/0953946820984084
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