University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Philiminality > Human (and) Nature from Latin America to the Middle East: Panel Discussion

Human (and) Nature from Latin America to the Middle East: Panel Discussion

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What does being part of nature mean for humanity, and for how we approach the environment? Can we both be part of the world and remove ourselves from it in thinking about it? What ethical issues arise from our relationship to nature?

Dr Charles Pigott (Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge) will be discussing literature (ancient and contemporary) in the Maya and Quechua languages of Central and South America. He will be exploring how the literature engages with indigenous rituals that foreground diverse modes of connection between humanity and the natural world. The presentation Will alternate between three levels of analysis: anthropological, literary and linguistic.

Dr Hilary Marlow (Divinity Faculty, Cambridge) will examine human relationship with nature through two concepts from the Christian Old Testament: humankind as made in the image of God and humankind as formed from the dust of the earth. In dialogue with Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical, “Laudato Sii”, it will discuss how these concepts impact on a number of ethical issues regarding environmental sustainability.

Dr Timothy Winter (Divinity Faculty, Cambridge) is the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College. He will be speaking about Sufism, a mystic current of Islam, and how the worldview it adopts portrays the environment and man’s relationship to it. Dr Winter will be talking about Qur’anic religion, which appeals to ‘primordiality’, in its emphasis on the sacredness of the natural world and humanity’s integration within it. The world is not ‘fallen’, but is instead ‘the unfolding of the peacock’s tail’. He will also address the major rituals of the Muslim life, including prayer and fasting, which link worshippers to the natural circadian and mensual rhythms.

This talk is part of the Philiminality series.

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