Stoic concepts of ekpyrosis and diacosmesis are examined in light of later Platonic, Aristotelian and Epicurean critiques of Stoic determinism. Questions emerge out of this debate centered on the problem of evil. A series of theodicies are proposed ending in a later Stoic interpretation of the cosmic cycle that equates each phase of the cosmic cycle with an ethical one allegorized as periods of Satiety (Koros) and Dearth (Chresmosyne).
This essay argues that Knafo and Teschke fundamentally misread Brenner’s original contribution to the transition debate. They equate his rejection of trans-historical or trans-modal laws of motion with the notion that social-property relations do not have strong rules of reproduction that structure the actions of agents and give rise to ‘developmental patterns’ specific to each form of social labour. Knafo and Teschke’s critique of Brenner’s analysis of capitalist expansion and crisis is also theoretically and empirically questionable.
This multispecies ethnography investigates how free-roaming ponies and humans participate in the production of “pony wildness” on Assateague Island, a barrier island located off the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. The bordering practices of ponies intersect with the bordering practices of people to generate a relational conception of pony wildness that incorporates in people-pony relations a desire for intimacy with respect for autonomy, in a multifunctional landscape managed both as wilderness and as a beach tourism destination. This notion of pony wildness includes nonhuman charisma, fluidity, and managing human visitors. We conclude by discussing how the fluidity of pony wildness can help us think more imaginatively about other contexts in which communities of free-roaming nonhuman animals share space with human communities.
This article is a response by the author to the contributions to the Historical Materialism symposium on Allegory and Ideology. The reply is framed in terms of the different theoretical strategies through which the articulation of ‘Marx’ and ‘Freud’ has been carried out, namely the precarious syntheses of Freudo-Marxism, the homological method pioneered by Lucien Goldmann, and the theory of allegorical levels and transcoding explored in Allegory and Ideology. It critically engages with the openings and challenges posed by the various contributions to the symposium, focusing in particular on matters of periodisation, and concluding with a reflection on how a theory of allegorical levels can be complemented by a materialist understanding of the ‘category’.
This essay makes a case for teaching an interdisciplinary undergraduate course at the intersection of religion, ecology, and business. At a basic level, this approach gets students with diverse intellectual orientations and career interests in the same room; letting business and environmental studies majors work together on these questions fosters a variation on interfaith engagement. More deeply, it creates space for them to develop critical self-awareness about their own ethical commitments. The fact that no single instructor can be an expert in all three fields should not prevent us from stepping boldly into uncharted territory. The degradation of the earth is an interdisciplinary problem that requires interdisciplinary solutions, and each of us has something to contribute right now even if we cannot do it all. As teachers and lifelong learners, we can and must model intellectual humility even as we look for ways to take decisive individual and collective action.
An undergraduate course in religion is an ideal place to discuss climate change, and a key task in these classrooms should be teaching students to thoughtfully and critically engage narratives used to make sense of and respond to the issue. Debates about anthropogenic climate change depend upon broad stories about the nature of reality and the place of humans within it; scholars of religion can teach skills of rigorous analysis, thoughtful tolerance, contextual understanding, and critical thinking that will help students grapple with these narratives. Students who are trained to think this way gain skills to respond to the competing facts and despair that can all-too-often make talking and teaching about climate change difficult.
This article charts the major concepts, theoretical and methodological models, and approaches used by teachers and scholars of religion and food, with a focus on how such concepts may be embedded within courses on religion and nature. The article first introduces central topics such as foodways, the food cycle, and some key concepts within the cultural study of religion, nature, and food. Second, it notes how the study of religion, nature, and food requires drawing from the tools of food studies, religious studies, diet/nutritional studies, and cultural studies, among others. Finally, the article offers some best practices in terms of how to teach the topic, focusing on active learning strategies. The article proposes that because everyone eats, the topic of religion, nature, and food is a unique way to engage students, helping them think critically about an otherwise unexamined but pervasive aspect of life.