“Creation and Catastrophe: Troubling ‘Natural Disaster’ ”
Self-respecting moderns are unlikely to attribute agency to Earth and sky.
“I have lost my faith in Mother Nature, but my faith in human nature has been restored.” (ABC interview of a public figure)
At the very moment when we do need to acknowledge our more than human others.
The invention of natural disaster was predicated on the medieval theology of natural evil. “We must acknowledge that evil is in the world” (Voltaire). De-divinized. Humanized. Nature handed over to scientific knowledge, economic exploitation etc. Humanities to confine themselves to culture.
Concept of natural disaster assimilated to mainstream progressive Christianity. Instead of discerning a need to confess and repent, most Christians simply asked to pray for the humans affected. And shell our a few dollars.
This is a kairos, a moment of risk. Self limiting and self giving love.
Rationalist perspective is blind to nonlinear causation (hmm not sure about that Kate).
Take the ecopoetics of the Book of Jeremiah. Northcote: The breaking of the covenant and transgressing laws that proscribe care for the land, and so on, the ruling elite have grown great and rich, fat and sleek, through treacherous trading practices. Linked by Jeremiah to crop failures. Desertification. 600BCE agricultural collapses << over farming and class issues.
Jeremiah as first ecological prophet. The ecoprophet must attend to what Morgan calls Earth's cry.
It's all so contemporary.
Michael Fagenblatt on Levinas. Creation has become a corrollary of our political responsibility. Divine causality has become human responsibility.