Suffering and Evil in Nature: Comparative Responses from Ecstatic Naturalism and Healing Cultures, edited by Joseph E. Harroff and Jea Sophia Oh, provides many unique experiments in thinking through the implications of ecstatic naturalism. This collection of essays directly addresses the importance of values sustaining cultures of healing and offers a variety of perspectives inducing radical hope requisite for cultivating moral and political imaginings of democracy-to-come as a regulative ideal. Through its invocation of “healing cultures,” the collection foregrounds the significance of the active, gerundive, and processual nature of ecstatic naturalism as a creative horizon for realizing values of intersubjective flourishing, while also highlighting the significance of culture as an always unfinished project of making discursive, interpretive and ethical space open for the subaltern and voiceless. Each contribution gives voice to the tensions and contradictions felt by living participants in emergent communities of interpretation—namely those who risk replacing authoritarian tendencies and fascist prejudices with a faith in future-oriented archetypes of healing to make possible truth and reconciliation between oppressor and oppressed, victimizers and victims of violence and trauma. These essays then let loose the radical hope of healing from suffering in a ceaseless community of communication within a horizon of creative democratic interpretation.
Joseph E. Harroff teaches philosophy and religion at American University.
Jea Sophia Oh is associate professor of philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Robert S. Corrington
Joseph E. Harroff and Jea Sophia Oh
Part 1: A Deep Opening of Nothingness: Some Metaphysical Resoundings
1. Providence and Providingness: On Platonic and Ecstatic Naturalist Good, Evil, and Infinity
2. The Experience of Values and the Possibility of Ordinal Phenomenology in Corrington’s Deep Pantheism
J. Edward Hackett
3. Dwelling with the Deep Ones: Lovecraftian Horror and the Selving Process
Part 2: Facing Suffering and Violence: Ecstatic Difference and Educational Healing
4. On Being Sunk?
5. Racism, Religious Education and Transformation
Moon Son and Ji Young Park
6. A Phenomenological Study of Feminist Political Consciousness
Part 3: Ecological World Horizons: Comparative Philosophy and Relational Responding
7. Recapturing World-Loyalty: A Relational Response to Ecological Violence
Katelynn E. Carver
8. Fecundity and Healing of the Great Mother Reading Corrington’s Nature and Nothingness via Yin-Yang Thinking
Jea Sophia Oh
Part 4: Nurturing Nature and Posthumanism
9. Evil as Human Resistance to the Indifferent Force of the Primal Nature: An Essay on Story-Telling Animals
10. The Posthuman and an Advaya Dialectic of Sacrifice
11. Education for the Symbiosis of Humans and Machines in a Post-Human Age
Part 5: (A)theodicy through the Anthropocene
12. Selving in a Dangerous World: William James, Buddhism, and Ecstatic Naturalism
13. Redemptive Suffering with Tianming 天命: An Ecstatically Naturalist Reading of Sacred Selving in Confucian Ethics
14. We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us: The Nature of Evil and the Evil of Nature in the Anthropocene
“Suffering and Evil in Nature: Comparative Responses from Ecstatic Naturalism and Healing Cultures furnishes us with fresh and provocative insights on the relevance of nature and entry points for queries on individual subjectivities, communal agency, and emergence of beauty at the edges of natural and societal destruction. In a comparative, constructive, and innovative manner, the philosophical ruminations of Roberto Corrington’s trope of nothingness are interwoven and serve as a basis for dialog on the sublime and terrifying aspects of unconscious and conscious experiences of 'holes in nature.' Nature, as an actor in collaboration with the human, assumes a complex and ambiguous role in the rise and ongoing presence of evil and suffering in our contemporary scene of racism, sexism, technocracy, nationalism, and ecosystemic annihilation. This collection of essays is a rare gift to any reader who is also seeking to courageously and resolutely co-create natural openings of breath within deterministic constructs of being in the world.”
“If you think Robert Corrington’s philosophy is a little wild, with its appeal to the unconscious of nature and human selving, wait until you read this book. Corrington and . . . : ancient middle Platonism, experience of values, Lovecraftian horror stories, being sunk, transformation in religious education, political feminism, world loyalty, ecofeminism and patriarchal metaphysics, the Great Mother and yin-yang thinking, story-telling and evil, the posthuman and advaya, Korean posthumanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and evil in the anthropocene.”
“Suffering and Evil in Nature: Comparative Responses from Ecstatic Naturalism and Healing Cultures is a collection of creative responses to perennial human problems of evil and suffering. The authors expand Robert S. Corrington’s vision of ecstatic naturalism into diverse realms of thinking including metaphysical, phenomenological, feminist, relational, posthuman, Confucian and so on. This book is a vital contribution to the ongoing emergence of a creative community of interpretation seeking to make sense and ultimately transform pressing contemporary problems from an ecstatic naturalist perspective via East-West dialogues.”
“What convivial teamwork by Jea Sophia Oh and Joseph Harroff that has called forth this munificent set of essays! Improbably, the problem of suffering and evil, freed of its pattern of theodicies and dichotomies, gains--as question--a fresh, even mesmerizing, disclosive force. With historical depth and ethical pragmatism, with subtle Western autocritique and multi-vocal Asian augmentation, the demanding intensities of race, gender, democracy and ecology come into a philosophical solidarity of untamed difference. Its multivocality, however, does not explode and fragment. Rather its intensities tune to the hospitable tradition of 'ecstatic naturalism.' Indeed this anthology performs the 'communicating community of creatively democratic interpretation' that its editors brilliantly frame.”