Dr. Clayton Crockett, UCA Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion and Director of Religious Studies, recently published a book co-authored with Jeffrey W. Robbins, a Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. The two participated in a panel discussion about their book at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, on Monday, February 11, 2013.
This discussion featured Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary, author of 20 books and a well-known media personality who is currently the co-host of the radio talk show “Smiley and West” with Tavis Smiley, and Dr. Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, whose work engages contemporary themes of political theology and develops tools for political and religious resistance to oppression. Dr. West and Dr. Taylor responded to the book and a broader discussion on the issues it raises.
The event was held at James Chapel on the campus of Union Theological Seminary, and was entitled “Becoming a Brain: The New Materialism & the Challenge of Liberation—Clayton Crockett and Jeffrey W. Robbins in Conversation with Mark L. Taylor and Cornel West on Theology, Politics, and the Earth.”
Their book is called Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism, and it was published by Palgrave Macmillan Press in October 2012. This book sketches out a spiritual vision in response to the crises of contemporary global capitalism, including global warming, energy resource depletion, and over-population. Crockett and Robbins offer what they call a theological materialism based on the reality of energy transformation. Energy, they suggest, is a material process, but can also be seen as a spiritual force rather than a simple reductionist materialism. Engaging with classical and contemporary philosophers and other theorists, Crockett and Robbins address topics like digital culture, ethics, religion, politics, art, logic, and energy.