What does it mean to think and do religions as ‘planetary’? How can the field of Religious Studies better grapple with the ecological crises currently devastating our planet? How can we attend to and enact more responsible and responsive, relational ethics between planetary others (humans, animals, plants, machines, the earth)? And how can we reconceptualise and rematerialise religion, science, and nature planetarily in the process? In this interview recorded at the 2015 IAHR Congress in Erfurt, Whitney Bauman discusses with George Ioannides some of the potential and difficult answers to these questions and more, revealing how the field of religion and ecology can go some way in helping to visualise and constitute a planetary, hybrid, ethical community of ecospiritual, biohistorical, and multispecies subjects.
Speaking of religions as “eco-social constructions across multiple species, over multiple generations, and over multiple histories,” Bauman puts forward an ethics of understanding ourselves and others as planetary creatures, and understanding religion, science, and nature as non-foundational, non-substantive categories.
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Listeners may also be interested in our previous podcasts with Bron Taylor on Religion after Darwin, and Bruno Latour, Gaian Animisms, and the Question of the Anthropocene.