Edible Entanglements On a Political Theology of Food

Obesity in the Global North and starvation in the Global South can be attributed to the same cause: the concentration of enormous power in the hands of transnational agricultural corporations. The food sovereignty movement has arisen as the major challenger to the corporate food regime. The concept of sovereignty is central to the discursive field of political theology, yet seldom if ever have its theoretical insights been applied to the concept of sovereignty as it appears in global food politics.

Food politics operates simultaneously in several registers: individual, national, transnational, and ecological. A politics of food takes a transdisciplinary approach to analyzing Schmitt’s concept of sovereignty in each of these registers, employing Giorgio Agamben’s political philosophy to elucidate vulnerability in the national and transnational registers; Jane Bennett’s vibrant materiality, Karen Barad’s agential realism, and nutritional science to describe the social production of classed bodies in the individual and national registers; data from climate science and the political ecology of Bruno Latour to examine the impact of sovereignty in the ecological register. Catherine Keller’s theology of becoming and Paulina Ochoa Espejo’s people as process will be explored for their capacity to enliven a democratic political theology of food.

 

Available at wipfandstock.com.

 

The Institute for Ecological Civilization recently interviewed S. Yael Dennis for their podcast. You can listen to the episode at ecociv.org.

 

“How odd, given the consuming global challenge of food, that so little of the discourse of eco-social justice, let alone of political theology, has focused on the matter. With this multi-faceted yet attractively accessible work, S. Yael Dennis has rectified the situation. Reconsidering the notion of ‘food sovereignty,’ it provides an interdisciplinary introduction to political theology that takes the latter where it has never gone. Edible Entanglements makes a brilliant contribution to political, economic, and ecological studies in religion.”

—Catherine Keller, Author of Political Theology of the Earth: Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public (2018)

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