The Problem and Possibility of Novelty in the Anthropocene

George Handley
Brigham Young University

This paper examines the question of novelty in relation to prior catastrophe, particularly in relation to contemporary Christian theology. Borrowing from the lessons learned in the humanities about possibility of starting anew in the wake of disaster, I explore the ways in which Christian theology might rethink the human relationship to the Creation, ways that could prove more responsive to the matrix of life identified by the life sciences. I argue that such problems as evolution and climate change could be more effectively met by a theology that understands the creation and revelation as ongoing and that embraces embodiment as a central characteristic of spirituality and a necessary condition of holiness. Ultimately, I will argue for the conditions of human answerability to the Creation that will inspire Christian efforts to remake and renew the world in the face of the crisis we have inaugurated.