Pantheism and the Anthropocene Era

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This essay is part of a forum discussion of Mary Jane Rubenstein's book: Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters (Columbia University Press, 2021). In this text, Rubenstein investigates the panic over pantheism and offers a creative exploration of the conceptual genealogy of pantheisms. I first discuss the exciting ways Rubenstein’s study ingeniously places religious discourse at the center of contemporary debates and conversations where such categories as materiality, difference, and multiplicity are contested or affirmed in various ways (and on many levels) as fundamental, inextricable aspects of reality. In Rubenstein’s appeal to a pantheological possibility, I also sense something even more radical. I question whether Rubenstein’s pantheistic possibility reveals the futility (and violence) of theo-logical totalizing efforts upon the messy, entangled, manyness that constitutes our lived experiences. Accordingly, I then wonder about the usefulness of the “divine” nomenclature in her pantheological possibility. Can its “usage” also escape the charges of operating as a formulaic, one-size-fits-all structural principle, as it does in the traditional theological discourse she wants to dismantle?

Source Publication

Marginalia: The Marginalia Review of Books


Religious Studies



Open Access

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