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Without Nature?A New Condition for Theology$
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David Albertson and Cabell King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230693

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230693.001.0001

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Emergent Forms of Un/Natural Life

Emergent Forms of Un/Natural Life

(p.241) Emergent Forms of Un/Natural Life
Without Nature?

Michael M. J. Fischer

Fordham University Press

This chapter delves into the political and social spaces emerging from and conditioning human experiences of the natural and of the self. Our institutions come to manifest particular understandings of life and of being, but they never do so univocally, since all institutions develop from multiple interests, communities, and legal negotiations. It explores four different notions of nature in terms of such complicated discourses: the nature manifested in the distribution of natural resources or more dramatically in natural catastrophes; the nature that proceeds from technical and cultural productions; the nature rebuilt “inside out” by genetic research; and the nature that confronts us in the alterity of other sentient beings. Each of these instances allows the investigation of interrelated narratives by which we attempt to gain some purchase on our place in the world despite our incomplete knowledge of it. The plural identities of human nature, whether individual or social, emerge from this interplay of narratives.

Keywords:   nature, natural catastrophes, genetic research, sentient beings, culture, self

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