Thinking Like an Animal: Theological Materialism for a Changing Climate

Studies in Christian Ethics 24 (1):50-66 (2011)

Theological materialism, it is argued, provides an important ethical orientation towards climate change. Following the tradition of practical materialism inaugurated by Karl Marx, materialism is here interpreted in a non-reductive sense that includes a stress on human praxis. Such a materialism is comprehensive in the sense that it identifies the sources of climate change as twofold: as rooted in a capitalist crisis and as rooted in a crisis in our conditions of life. Such a materialism is also theological: it is ‘flesh made word’ (Nicholas Lash). One implication of this theological materialism is that creation is to be understood as good. This theme is explored by way of the ‘revolt of nature’: this trope provides a theological way of exploring nature in a changing climate. At the conclusion, critical issues raised by the title, Thinking like an animal, are addressed
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DOI 10.1177/0953946810389118
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