Beyond Monotheism: A Theology of Multiplicity

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Anything that exists is intrinsically singular, distinct, unique, and it is unique as body. Every body is absolutely different and irreplaceable, in ontological as well as in ethical terms. Jesus represents an incarnation of divinity in a singular body, and his silence before Pilate is understood by Schneider as a refusal to submit his body to the standards of legal categorization, interrogation and justification.

Schneider draws from Deleuze a good deal in this chapter, including her petition of a logic of rhizomality for thinking about modes of relationality. And so we come to systematic theology.


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Schneider decided that she has to get down to God-talk, and do some doctrine. So this chapter has a bit of theory, followed by some constructive theology in two parts: firstly on water, and secondly on rock. God is fluid and porous. The notion of linguistic competence is in the background throughout.

Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation - CRC Press Book

Schneider is really laying her cards on the table in this chapter, which provides a happy philosophical release from the anticipation built up by all the necessary but preliminary historical work in the first part of the book. How is a political theology of the earth distinctive? It resists the hegemony of those theologies and post-theologies organized around divine omnipotence, absolute sovereignty, and human dominion over the earth.

Doing so, it can now mine rich veins in traditions that explore liveliness beyond the human and human entanglements with a multifaceted, morphing earth.

Beyond Monotheism: A Theology of Multiplicity – By Laurel C. Schneider

In this inspiring book Keller calls upon eco-activists to explore the spiritual affinities between us, as we foment energies needed to respond to the Anthropocene. An indispensable book for today! William E. Connolly, author of Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming In this brilliant, wonderfully evocative, and beautifully written book, one of the very best theologians in the world today engages seculareligious currents in political theology to remarkable effect.

‘Response’ to Edward Butler’s review of Beyond Monotheism: A Theology of Multiplicity

Her theology of divine entanglement counters a political theology of the exception in a thoroughgoing way: anthropic exceptionalism, for example, comes completely undone. Its apophatic dimensions, meanwhile, steer clear of the certainties of optimism or despair to offer a hope without guarantees in the face of climate crisis.


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Kathryn Tanner, author of Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism The political, the earth, their theology, encapsulated in a meditation mindful of the unmined mind-bending darkness of the deep, a calming call to think, an urgent call to act in the face of the darkness of planetary peril, all in a lyrical, profoundly theological—make that theopoetic —voice. What else is that than a new book by Catherine Keller? What more could we ask for?

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I also believe strongly in collaborative thinking, and to that end currently co-convene the national Workgroup in Constructive Theology with Dr. Stephen Ray comprised of over 70 scholars in the field, and a much smaller group working at the intersections of postcolonial theory, queer theory, race theory, and feminist theory. To learn more, click here. Edited by Roland Faber and Jeremy Fackenthal.

New York: Fordham University Press. Edited by Sally Promey.