Jane Bennett Materialism

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Both Jane Bennett and Rebekah Sheldon’s essays attempt to differentiate new or vital materialism from object-oriented ontology (OOO), two recent philosophical developments generated by the nonhuman turn (193, 225). For Bennett, OOO as a philosophical school represents a post-system-oriented theory that is committed to a “non-relational conception” of things, or their negative capacities to withdraw from any attempts at human apprehension or use (227). At the same time, objects are coy and make themselves manifest as a “sense” or “call” (227). The ethical gain implied is OOO’s resistance to human hubris. Yet, for Bennett, new materialism has the same ethical potential; one does not have to be committed to OOO to dethrone the human or re-value things. Furthermore, Bennett notes an important difference in language: where OOO opts for “object” as a marker of individuation, Bennett…show more content…
We asked about how disrupting the being and becoming distinction translates theologically. How would this effect the distinction between creator and creature? Further, the valuation of materiality and connectedness seems to have implications for the doctrine of God. One of us wondered: “to what extent are we repeating the history of Trinitarian thought?” Another raised suspicion: “does this commit you to Whiteheadian doctrine of God becoming in the world?” A more general refection provoked was how we think about the relationship between Christianity and Platonism. Is there a necessary relationship? Without Platonic commitments, where does one begin ontologizing? A traditional option has been to think God as eternal and unchanging, while the world as temporal and changing. But these are selective traditions. You don’t have to tell story of creation in Platonic terms. For instance, in Thomas, creatureliness is integrated, animality is not negative. It is simply who and what we are, even if it has fulfilment. There’s change and there’s
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