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Welcome to the 2021 ISSRNC online conference - Religion and Environment: Relations and Relationality.
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Saturday, February 27 • 10:00am - 10:45am
Author Meets Critics: Darren Dochuk’s Annointed with Oil

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(LIVE conversation with presenters. Please watch the session video beforehand.)


Though religious energy ethics has a long history of scholarship, the proposed panel discusses one of the first major academic publications on social histories of religion and energy, Darren Dochuk's Anointed With Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America. This will be structured as an "author meets critics" session, with responses to Dochuck's monograph from four scholars each representing different disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Dochuk will then have an opportunity to respond, offering synoptic remarks to his 'critics'. In addition to their shared focus on Anointed With Oil, these responses will be linked by the underlying question, "what are religion's relationships to hydrocarbon energy?" This positions the session in direct relationship to the conference theme of "Relations and Relationality" and develops linkages between religious studies and cutting edge scholarship in the energy humanities.


Terra Schwerin Rowe


Schwerin Rowe will explore the nexus of the unthinkability of oil and the incomprehensibility of climate change. Dochuk's research compellingly conveys the breadth and scope of the intertwining of religion, oil, and politics in the US--a perspective which makes the originality of his contribution all the more surprising. Yet, in the narrative of Anointed with Oil the gendered and racialized aspects of oil remain marginal or obscured. Rowe will highlight the extent to which the material oddities of oil have resonated with realms rendered beneath or outside the scope of modern thought, and explore the impact of oil's unthinkability on the ability to recognize and respond to climate change.


Evan Berry


Berry will explore some theoretical dimensions of Anointed With Oil. Specifically, he will examine the theoretical challenge presented by the interplay between natural resource exploitation and religious change over time. How are scholars to understand the impacts of resource extraction--infrastructure, toxicity, the mobilization of capital, etc.--on theology, and, vice versa, how are scholars to understand the influence exerted by theological tradition on the social and economic infrastructure surrounding hydrocarbon production.


Tina Asmussen


Asmussen will examine Darren Dochuk's book from a diachronic perspective and emphasize the role of emotions and affects in modern and early modern extractive industries. Coming from a disciplinary background in early modern mining history, her paper will focus on hope as both economic affect and Christian virtue.


Brent Crosson


Crosson will discuss how Anointed with Oil provides the resources for plumbing the merits and limitations of an Evangelical framework for understanding religion, oil, and energy. He will speculate on how the book suggests alternate approaches that focus on the ways race, religious difference, and US imperialism intersect with issues of energy and religion. He will also consider the south-south connections that energy economies foreground and how this affects conceptions of religious transnationalism outside a US-centric paradigm.


Darren Dochuk


Dochuk will respond to panel critics and join their conversation about the challenges and value of embedding religion in the study of energy and energy humanities. His book, Anointed With Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America, charts the deep intersections of faith, petroleum, and oil's culture war politics from the 1850s to the present day. In offering this expansive chronicle he attempts to demonstrate the need for scholars to take seriously not just how individuals and institutions of faith helped fuel U.S. petroleum's global expansion in the "American Century" (and benefited financially and politically from their investment in the carbon industry), but how the American oil patch itself is a unique landscape that coheres around peculiar notions of worship as well as work, eschatology and family values as much as the laissez-faire capitalist drive for crude.

Speakers
avatar for Evan Berry

Evan Berry

Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities, Arizona State University
Evan Berry is assistant professor of environmental humanities in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. He has previously taught at American University and Lewis and Clark College. His research examines the relationship between religion... Read More →
avatar for Terra Schwerin Rowe

Terra Schwerin Rowe

Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department, University of North Texas
avatar for Tina Asmussen

Tina Asmussen

Professor, Ruhr-Universität Bochum / Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum
avatar for Brent Crosson

Brent Crosson

Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Texas at Austin
avatar for Darren Dochuk

Darren Dochuk

Andrew V. Tackes College Professor of History; Director of Graduate Studies, University of Notre Dame


Saturday February 27, 2021 10:00am - 10:45am MST
Online (Live)