Institute for Environmental Studies announces 2018 Senior Fellow in Ethics of the Anthropocene

Professor Dr Ernst M. Conradie from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa has been appointed as Senior Fellow in the Ethics of the Anthropocene Program for 2018. He will be at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in May and June 2018, and from November 2018 to January 2019.

01/25/2018 | 1:30 PM

The Ethics of the Anthropocene Fellowship is a collaborative initiative of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) and the Faculty of Theology. It is intended to foster research projects at the interface of ethics, religion and global environmental change. Annual fellowships are awarded alternately to an established Senior scholar and to two or three promising PhD-Candidates who are in the process of specializing in this burgeoning field.

About this Year’s Project
Professor Conradie’s project is entitled “Whose Anthropocene – What Diagnosis?”. He observes that there is something odd about the recent interest in the Anthropocene. Many would suggest that it demonstrates the ecological impact of anthropocentrism as an ideological disposition that has become predominant at least since the rise of modernity and is epitomized by industrialized capitalism. Yet, the very term also seems to express such anthropocentrism: the human species is able to influence even geological systems. Moreover, discourse on the Anthropocene, also in the humanities, is heavily dominated by scholars from the global North. This raises the question what concerns and interests are at stake here? Whose Anthropocene is it really? More specifically, what diagnosis of what is wrong in the world is assumed in discourse on the Anthropocene in the fields of philosophy, ethics, religious studies and theology? Is the problem really anthropocentrism – or perhaps consumerist greed, domination in the name of difference, alienation, folly or simply a lack of responsibility (sloth)? These questions will be explored with reference to a notion of Christian sin-talk as a form of social diagnostics.

Information on Ernst M. Conradie
Ernst M. Conradie (1962-) is Senior Professor in the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape where he teaches systematic theology and ethics. His most recent monographs are The Earth in God’s Economy: Creation, Salvation and Consum¬mation in Eco¬logical Perspective (LIT Verlag, 2015) and Redeeming Sin? Social Diagnostics amid Ecological Destruction (Lexington Books, 2017).

He has been awarded the Andrew Murray prize for theological publications in Afrikaans twice, namely for Waar op dees aarde vind mens God? (awarded in 2007) and for Lewend en Kragtig? In gesprek oor God se handelinge (awarded in 2013). He obtained the UWC Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Research in the Human and Social Sciences in 2012 and holds a prestigious rating as “Internationally acclaimed researcher” (B1) from the National Research Foundation (2012). His publications, including more than 150 refereed articles and essays in edited volumes, are mostly in the intersection between ecological theology, systematic theology and ecumenical theology.

Conradie was the convener of the steering committee for an international research project entitled “Christian Faith and the Earth” (2007-2013). He is a co-editor of the journal Scriptura and the secretary of the editorial board of the series Studies in Ethics and Theology (published by Bible Media). He is the current Chairperson of the Theological Society of South Africa. In 2015 he was elected as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.