Thinking the Climate Through Anthropology and the Church Science and Morality in the Climate Crisis

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Ruairi O'Mahony


The present climate crisis presents a myriad of challenges for anthropologists attempting to analyze and critique the ways in which scientists and the public think about the world, our relationship to it, and how we make descriptive and moral claims about it. This paper outlines the epistemological problems that arise from climate change's status as a hyperobject: Specifically, the necessity to think across scales of space and time, the moral weight associated with claims about the climate, and the need for a single, global account. I compare these problems through three contemporary frameworks: The Western liberal consensus, the work of anthropologists Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour, and the Catholic Church's integral ecology. I discuss kin relations and the obligations that come with them, the thread uniting the three frameworks, as a principle for authentically (re)thinking the climate and our relationship to the world at large.

Keywords:  anthropology of science; climate; morality; epistemology; hyperobjects; integral ecology; kinship

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How to Cite
O’MahonyRuairi. 2021. “Thinking the Climate Through Anthropology and the Church”. Radicle: Reed Anthropology Review 5 (1).