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Mystical Ecologies

Mystical Ecologies: a two-day seminar with the philosopher Michael Marder

Imagined as a a pre-event of our Academy of Margins — summer school (24-31 August), Robida organises a seminar on philosophy and ecology with Michael Marder, author of the seminal book “Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life” (2013) and of other influential books as “The Philosopher’s Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium” (2014), “Through Vegetal Being: Two Philosophical Perspectives” (2016, written with Luce Irigaray), “Dump Philosophy: A Phenomenology of Devastation” (2020) and the latest “Green Mass: The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen” (2021).

In a two day intensive mini-seminar, that Robida held in Topolove between 16th and 17th of August, Michael Marder extended his line of research concerned with 'mystical ecologies' from the medieval Christian to the medieval Judaic tradition. In particular, we discussed the way the Book of Zohar, the body of kabbalistic thought that emerged in Southern France and Southern Spain between 1100 and 1300, conceives the four classical elements: water, fire, air, and earth. Reconstructing the ecological vision that subtends this largely forgotten body of writings, we came across a notion of divinity indistinguishable from questions of dwelling and exile, livability and sustainability, desire and sexual difference, distributed across the visible and the invisible cosmos.

In the public talk we dealt with Marder's work from plant-thinking, to his dump philosophy, and upper mentioned mystical ecologies.

Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz. His work spans the fields of environmental philosophy and ecological thought, political theory, and phenomenology.