Embodying climate change: Renarrating energy through the senses and the spirit

Michael Northcott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The refusal of liberal capitalist societies effectively to regulate ­greenhouse gas emissions reflects the underlying Cartesian assumptions that persist in the culture of these societies. Merleau-Ponty, Karl Bohm and others have sought since the 1950s to unsettle the Cartesian legacy by recovering a more embodied and sensual account of human cognition and consciousness. This philosophical repair finds significant echoes in the narrativist turn in theology, and both recall approaches to knowing and action that may be found in the theology of Saint Paul, and in traditional Christian ritualisation of relationships between past, present and future action and being. The enduring and embodied character of such inter-temporal beliefs and rituals represents a sensitivity to inter-generational relations concerning energy use and climate change which is needful if modern perceptions about the consequences of energy use for the planetary future are to change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Environment Relations
Subtitle of host publicationTransformative Values in Theory and Practice
EditorsEmily Bradly, Pauline Phemister
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer-Verlag GmbH
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789400728257
ISBN (Print)9789400728240
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Human
  • Future
  • Body


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