Professor Catherine Keller at Drew University, USA, gives the 4th Aasta Hansteen Lecture Aug. 25, 2014

A Democracy of Fellow Creatures: Feminist Theology and Planetary Entanglement

Feminist theology has never settled upon gender as a single issue, essence or identity, but has all along recognized intersections with race, class, sexuality, religious difference, and the matter of all creatures.  It tends to a socially democratic politics capable of minding the multiplicity of voices, vitalities, vulnerabilities.  

Focus shifts with crisis, and now we face as the permanent horizon of the human the determinate indeterminacies of climate change.  We come entangled in the fragilities and inhumanities of the Earth.

Ecofeminism supplements the anthropocentric ethics of progressive theology. But how might a new ecology of religion energize planetary practices of hospitality under radically asymmetrical conditions?

Catherine Keller is process theologian with wide-ranging theoretical interests, encompassing feminist theology, eco-theology, post-structuralist and post-colonial theory. On her highly original and influential scholarly journey she has sought to develop and refine the potential for a theology of becoming and explored the ends of apocalyptic thinking.

Her current project Cloud of the Impossible: Theological Entanglements seeks to unfold a connection between the mystical tradition of unknowing, material indeterminacy and ontological interdependence. Through a turn to "new materialist" theory Keller seeks to forge transdisciplinary approaches to the complexity of the contemporary theological context.

Recently, she arranged Drew’s Annual Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium on the topic Entangled Worlds: Science, Religion, Materiality with Jane Bennet, political scientist and feminist theorist, and Karen Barad, professor of feminist studies and theoretical physics, seeking to energize a paradigm of nonseparability for planet Earth.

Keller is Professor of Constructive Theology at the Theological School at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, USA.



The Aasta Hansteen lecture will be held August 25 at the Faculty of Theology, followed by an afternoon seminar with invited respondents and an informal round table conversation the next day.


August 25

11.00-12.00: Lecture (note the time), U40, The Faculty of Theology

12.15-13.00: Lunch break

13.00-15.00: Seminar, Room 214, The Faculty of Theology

Invited respondents:

Marianne E. Lien, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo.

Lien is educated both as a social anthropologist and a nutritionist, and has concentrated her research on consumption, production and marketing with a focus on food and nutritional politics. Her research investigates globalization, economic anthropology, aquaculture, perceptions of nature and ideals of equality. She works within the same theoretical landscape as Catherine Keller. From 2008-2011 Lien was Dean of research at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo

Sturla Stålsett, Professor of Diaconal Studies, Religion and Society, Norwegian School of Theology.

Stålsett is a priest and a theologian, and holds a PhD. in liberation theology from The Faculty of Theology. His interests include global social justice, religion and democracy. From 2005 to 2013, Stålsett was general secretary for The Church City Mission in Norway. From 2010-2013 he chaired the so-called "Stålsett-utvalget”, a committee  appointed by the Norwegian government to report and assess the politics of religion in the country and advice on necessary improvements. 


August 26

10.15-12.15 Round table conversation with Catherine Keller hosted by the Gender Colloquium at the Faculty of Theology.


Gender networking and informal discussions with Catherine Keller on feminist, emancipatory or ecological aspects that in particular concern you, or that her lecture brought up. Two invited PhD fellows will open the conversation by presenting theoretical or theological issues from their ongoing dissertation work.

19.00 Social gathering in Jone Salomonsen's private home. More informal networking. Food and drinks will be served.

A short reading list of relevant works for the Aasta Hansteen Lecture by Catherine Keller 

Other important scholars in Catherine Keller’s thinking

  • Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.  

The book is a key text for Catherine Keller and the “new materialists,” and offers a relational ontology based on quantum physics, by a science theorist who was first a theoretical physicist.  The opening and closing sections are important to understand Keller’s forthcoming Cloud of the Impossible: negative theology and planetary entanglement (2014).

  • Barad, Karen. “Nature’s Queer Performativity (The Authorized Version).” Kvinder, Køn & Forskning 1-2 (2012): 22-53.
  • Bauman, Whitney A. Religion and Ecology: Developing a Planetary Ethics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.
  • Connolly, William. The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.
  • Gebara, Ivone. Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999.
  • Kahl, Brigitte. Galatians Re-Imagined: Reading with the Eyes of the Vanquished. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Kang, Namsoon. Cosmopolitan Theology: Reconstituting Planetary Hospitality, Neighbor-Love, and Solidarity in an Uneven World. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2013.
  • Latour, Bruno.  “Facing Gaia: Six Lectures on the Political Theology of Nature,” Gifford Lectures 2013. University of Edinburgh, Forthcoming.
  • Schneider, Laurel. “Promiscuous Incarnations” in The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity. Ed Margaret Kamitsuka. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.


Publisert 31. mai 2014 14:30 - Sist endret 2. sep. 2015 16:20