Being Human in the Age of Humans

Hands Edited

Project Dates: January 1, 2017 – December 21, 2018
Principal Investigator: Lisa H. Sideris, Indiana University, with Celia Deane-Drummond, Sarah Fredericks, and Kyle Powys Whyte
Funded by: Humanities Without Walls Consortium

Project Aim
  • To foster ongoing research about the Anthropocene in order to understand humanity's place in planetary evolution and explore questions of theological, philosophical, and religious import
  • To build a cohort of scholars in the fields of theology, philosophy, and religious studies who will continue to probe questions about the Anthropocene in their disciplines
Project Summary

The Anthropocene, a term for a geological epoch characterized by unprecedented human transformation of the planet, originated in earth systems science and has since captured the imagination of many humanists. Discourse on the Anthropocene, which probes the meaning of humanity’s role and agency within deep time and planetary evolution, raises religious and ethical questions about how to understand humanity’s place within planetary evolution, and how to envision the future trajectory of human societies. The Anthropocene strongly resonates with mythic and religious genres – declensionist or ascendant storylines, tales of hubris, forbidden knowledge, theodicy, and eschatology. These religious, philosophical, and ethical issues make the Anthropocene ripe for analysis by scholars of religion and theologians. Yet scholarship on the Anthropocene remains underdeveloped in these disciplines. To foster such research, the “Being Human in the Age of Humans” project seeks proposals for two workshops , at which participants will develop their ideas on the Anthropocene in conversation with other scholars.

Project Activities
  • Participation in one of two parallel workshops: University of Chicago, October 15-17, 2017; Michigan State University, October 17-19, 2017
  • Conference: Indiana University (May 17-20, 2018) – PDF – HWW Call for Papers 552kSubmission Deadline: January 15, 2018;  Conference website
Project Team