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IntercarnationsExercises in Theological Possibility$
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Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276455

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276455.001.0001

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Toward a Political Theology of the Earth

Toward a Political Theology of the Earth

(p.174) Chapter 11 Toward a Political Theology of the Earth

Catherine Keller

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers incongruent temporalities in the form of a political theology of the earth. Political theology can rarely be mistaken for ecotheology. At least in its guise as political theory, it leaves concern for the matter of the earth to ecological science, activism, and religion. Key to political theology has been its readings of the German legal theorist Carl Schmitt's definition of sovereignty in terms of emergency. The current conversation in political theology has been unfolding with the rush of a theoretical currency fueled by old, indeed ancient, theopolitical language. Even as ecological theology seems to slow theory down, capturing it in a geological time far older than language, it also lurches into the terrifying speed of climate destabilization. The chapter asks whether, in the guise of thinking for and as terra, we would territorialize politics itself. It shows how, by seeding an alternative to the political theology of exceptionalist power, intercarnation fosters “the new people and earth in the future.” It also explains how a theology forged in alliances of entangled difference helps that alliance emerge—in the face of what may be mounting planetary emergency.

Keywords:   political theology, earth, ecotheology, Carl Schmitt, sovereignty, climate destabilization, intercarnation, entangled difference, planetary emergency

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