Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement

Paperback | December 2, 2014

byCatherine Keller

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The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God now hosts a current knowledge of uncertainty, of indeterminate and interdependent outcomes, possibly catastrophic. Yet the connectivity and collectivity of social movements, of the fragile, unlikely webs of an alternative notion of existence, keep materializing--a haunting hope, densely entangled, suggesting a more convivial, relational world.

Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a "participatory universe," and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a "theopoetics of nonseparable difference." Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans--these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.

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The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God...

Catherine Keller is professor of constructive theology at Drew University. Her work interweaves process relationalism and poststructuralist philosophy with an evolving feminist cosmopolitics. At once constructive and deconstructive in approach, it engages questions of ecological, social, and spiritual practice amidst an irreducible ind...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:408 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:December 2, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231171153

ISBN - 13:9780231171151

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Read "Before," the introduction to Cloud of the Impossible:

Table of Contents

BeforePart 1: Complications1. The Dark Nuance of Beginning2. Cloud-Writing: A Genealogy of the Luminous Dark3. Enfolding and Unfolding God: Cusanic ComplicatioPart 2: Explications4. Spooky Entanglements: The Physics of Nonseparability5. The Fold in Process: Deleuze and Whitehead6. "Unfolded Out of the Folds": Walt Whitman and the Apophatic Sex of the Earth7. Unsaying and Undoing: Judith Butler and the Ethics of Relational OntologyPart 3: Implications8. Crusade, Capital, and Cosmopolis: Ambiguous Entanglements9. Broken Touch: Ecology of the Im/possible10. In Questionable LoveAfter: Theopoetics of the CloudNotesAcknowledmentsIndex

Editorial Reviews

This is an extraordinary book.... Readers will engage an astounding sweep of resources and conversation partners in this book.