An evening seminar with Sean McGrath, PhD
7-9 pm, April 2, 2019
We live in the grip of a form of anxiety unknown to Freud, Jung, and Lacan. It is not anxiety over the self, but anxiety over the world without which there would be no selves to worry about. Nature has become an issue for us, whether it be in the form of climate change, mass extinction, or the disturbing possibility that nature is over. At the same time, we despair for humanity: there appears to be no way to move from our knowledge of the current precarious state of the earth to a practice and politics that would rectify it. The despair itself immobilizes us and renders us powerless to make even the smallest efforts toward solutions. In this seminar, we will discuss the ecological anxiety of our present age and look for ways to unfreeze eco-despair by generating language to articulate our hopes and fears. We will explore in some detail the religious quality of the ecological crisis. In the end, we will ask the question: given the Anthropocene, given the Sixth Great Extinction, given the rise of the technosphere, can the earth be sacred once again?