Eschatology in the Anthropocene: From the Chronos of deep time to the Kairos of the age of humans

Michael Northcott

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


James Hutton invented ‘deep time’ through a reading of sedimentary rocks, and displaced anthropocentric chronology with a geocentric one. Some argue this ‘new creation story’ teaches modern humans humility and promotes greater care for life on Earth than the Jewish-Christian creation story, which they say underwrote human dominion. But the biblical creation-fall story is better understood as a warning to early-Holocene humans about the risks of over-reach in their powers to domesticate plants and animals that the new era of climate stability facilitated. Recognition of the era of the Anthropocene, the era of humanly generated climate instability, has an analogous rhetorical role, warning industrial humans of a potential new eviction from their Earthbound Paradise. But if the Anthropocene is a new story of creation and fall, what is the redemption story of this new era?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis
EditorsClive Hamilton, François Gemenne, Christophe Bonneuil
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781315743424
ISBN (Print)9781138821248, 9781138821248
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Environmental Humanities


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