Below are the three most recent publications by Dr. Keller.
Amid melting glaciers, rising waters, and spreading droughts, Earth has ceased to tolerate our pretense of mastery over it. But how can we confront climate change when political crises keep exploding in the present? Noted ecotheologian and feminist philosopher of religion Catherine Keller reads the feedback loop of political and ecological depredation as secularized apocalypse. Carl Schmitt’s political theology of the sovereign exception sheds light on present ideological warfare; racial, ethnic, economic, and sexual conflict; and hubristic anthropocentrism. If the politics of exceptionalism are theological in origin, she asks, should we not enlist the world’s religious communities as part of the resistance?
Keller calls for dissolving the opposition between the religious and the secular in favor of a broad planetary movement for social and ecological justice. When we are confronted by populist, authoritarian right wings founded on white male Christian supremacism, we can counter with a messianically charged, often unspoken theology of the now-moment, calling for a complex new public. Such a political theology of the earth activates the world’s entangled populations, joined in solidarity and committed to revolutionary solutions to the entwined crises of the Anthropocene.
Intercarnations is an outstanding collection of provocative, elegantly written essays—many available in print for the first time—by renowned theologian Catherine Keller.
Affirmations of body, flesh, and matter pervade current theology and inevitably echo with the doctrine of the incarnation. Yet, in practice, materialism remains contested ground—between Marxist and capitalist, reductive and postmodern iterations. Current theological explorations of our material ecologies cannot elude the tug or drag of the doctrine of “the incarnation.” But what if we were to redistribute, rather than repress, that singular body? Might we free it—along with the bodies in which it is boundlessly entangled—from a troubling history of Christian exceptionalism?
In these immensely significant, highly original essays, theologian Catherine Keller proposes to liberate the notion of the divine made flesh from the exclusivity of orthodox Christian theology’s Jesus of Nazareth. Throughout eleven scintillating essays, she attends to bodies diversely religious, irreligious, social, animal, female, queer, cosmopolitan, and cosmic, highlighting the intermittencies and interdependencies of intra-world relations. According to Keller, when God is cast on the waters of a polydoxical indeterminacy, s/he/it returns manifold. For the many for whom theos has become impossible, Intercarnations exercises new theological possibilities through the diffraction of contextually diverse multiplicities.
A groundbreaking work that pulls together a wide range of intersecting topics and methodologies, Intercarnations enriches and challenges current theological thinking. The essays reach back into feminist, process, and postcolonial discourses, and further back into messianic and mystical potentialities. They reach out into Asian as well as inter-Abrahamic comparison and forward toward a political theology of the Earth, queerly entangling climate catastrophe in materializations resistant to every economic, social, and anthropic exceptionalism. According to Keller, Intercarnations offers itself as a transient trope for the mattering of our entangled difference, meaning to stir up practices of a better planetarity. In Intercarnations, with Catherine Keller as their erudite guide, readers gain access to new worlds of theological possibility and perception.
The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God now hosts a current knowledge of uncertainty, of indeterminate and interdependent outcomes, possibly catastrophic. Yet the connectivity and collectivity of social movements, of the fragile, unlikely webs of an alternative notion of existence, keep materializing–a haunting hope, densely entangled, suggesting a more convivial, relational world.
Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a “participatory universe,” and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a “theopoetics of nonseparable difference.” Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans–these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.
For a complete list of book-length publications, see here.