Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Acting responsibly in an entangled world

“Perhaps the responsibility of individual humans may reside most significantly in one’s response to the assemblages in which one finds oneself participating – do I attempt to extricate myself from assemblages whose trajectory is likely to do harm?.... In a world where agency is distributed, a hesitant attitude towards assigning blame becomes a virtue…. Outrage will not and should not disappear completely, but a politics devoted too exclusively to moral condemnation and not enough to a cultivated discernment of the web of agentic capacities can do no good. A moralized politics of good and evil, of singular agents who must be made to pay for their sins – be they Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush – becomes immoral to the degree that it legitimates vengeance and elevates violence to the tool of first resort. A distributive understanding of agency, then, reinvokes the need to detach ethics from moralism, and to produce guides to action appropriate to a world of vital, cross-cutting forces.”

—Jane Bennett, “The Agency of Assemblages and the North American Blackout,” in the stunning new 800-page anthology, Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World, ed. Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006), p. 615.

Archive

Subscribe by email

Contact us

Although we're not always able to reply, please feel free to email the authors of this blog.

Faith and Theology © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.

TOPO