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December 10, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
New Materialism, Relational Holism, and Posthuman Life
December 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm Central time, 5:00 Eastern time
Please join IRAS for the December session of our 2020 monthly webinar series, Science,Religion, and Society. On December 10, 2020 IRAS will host a live session, featuring Dr. Ilia Delio, OSF, who holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University.
Initial Respondent: Dr. John Haught, emeritus Professor of Theology, Georgetown University
Presentation Overview: Insights from twentieth century science and shifts in culture have given rise to new materialisms. Matter is not viewed as something static, fixed, or passive, waiting to be molded by some external force; rather, it is emphasized as a process of materialization. The term “new materialism” was coined by Manuel DeLanda and Rosi Braidotti in the second half of the 1990s and refers to the idea that mind is always already material, and matter is necessarily something of the mind. The complex interaction among multiple forces spawns and re-configures in the new materialist and posthuman thinking whereby relationships are constantly being formed, unformed and reformed.
The new materialisms pose no division between language and matter: biology is culturally mediated as much as culture is materialistically constructed. The “posthuman” has become a key term to cope with an urgency for the integral redefinition of the notion of the human. whereby the distributed cognition of the emergent human subject correlates with the distributed cognitive system as a whole: “thinking” is done by both human and nonhuman actors. Hence the posthuman ability to conceptualize oneself as autonomous being, exercising one’s will through individual agency and choice, gives way to distributed personhood where conscious agency is never fully in control. This talk will examine the posthuman in light of technology and the new materialisms, with an emphasis on Teilhard de Chardin’s insights on theogenesis and noogenesis, and his ideas on a new religion of the earth.
Presentation Background: Ilia Delio, OSF holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University. Her area of research and writing is systematic and constructive theology. She is the author of over twenty books including Re-Enchanting the Earth: Why AI Needs Religion; Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian; Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness, a finalist for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize; and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Award in Faith and Science. Her latest book The Hours of the Universe: Reflections on God, Science and the Human Journey, will be published in Spring 2021. She lectures nationally and internationally on various topics pertaining to faith and science, and in 2020 received an honorary doctorate from Sacred Heart University for her work in Science and Religion. She is founder of the Center for Christogenesis, an online educational resource for the work of Teilhard de Chardin and the integration of Christianity and evolution in the 21st century.
The IRAS webinar is FREE but registration is required: