Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement

Product Details
Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.8 X 1.1 X 9.12 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author
Catherine Keller is professor of constructive theology at Drew University. Her work interweaves process relationalism and poststructuralist philosophy with an evolving feminist cosmopolitics. At once constructive and deconstructive in approach, it engages questions of ecological, social, and spiritual practice amidst an irreducible indeterminacy. Among her many books are Apocalypse Now & Then; God and Power; and The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming.
A sizzling, citable line on every page, this is Catherine Keller at her poetic, theopoetic, theological best. She meditates not the fire of the apocalypse, nor the water of the deep, but the cloud--of the impossible which precipitates the possible itself, the entanglement of knowing and nonknowing, of the relational and what overflows relation, of the enfolding and the unfolding. For her, the name of God is not the name of a cause or a guarantee but the lure of something that needs to be made and done. From philosophy and theology to physics and ecology--a sensational tour de force from a major theological voice.--John D. Caputo, Syracuse University and Villanova University
At last! A negative theology that plies the complex requirements of planetary life. Long intent on crafting ways of thinking theologically that resist common and oversimplified oppositions between divine and fleshy things, Catherine Keller leads us via ancient, medieval, and recent traditions of unsaying certainties into a rich understanding of divine entanglement as a basis for communal thriving and just democracy. This is a monumental contribution to Christian theology, especially regarding its foundational claims of divine embodiment and love.--Laurel C. Schneider, Vanderbilt University
Catherine Keller is our most creative and profound theologian today, and this book is her richest to date, tracking the enfolding and unfolding relation of everything to everything with theopoetic brilliance.--Gary Dorrien, author of Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology
Catherine Keller's nuanced consideration of the apophatic cloud is both true to its subject and marvelously lucid. Tracing unexpected connections in the thought of medieval theologians, process philosophers, environmental activists, quantum physicists, and more, the book enfolds and unfolds, each line of thought traced with delicate precision, each intersection marked. Out of impossibility itself, enfolded in each and every relation, a new and open possible emerges. Through folds and mirrors, holograms and entanglements, poetry and theology, trauma and joy, this possible-impossible, this luminous darkness, entice us to follow--and to be glad that we did.--Karmen MacKendrick, Le Moyne College
With this work, Catherine Keller has produced a masterpiece on the level of her Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming. There is something of James Joyce in these pages. Readers are taken through core Hebrew and Greek debates, the emergence of infinity in Patristic theology, Christian and non-Christian mysticism, quantum physics, contemporary poststructuralist philosophy, the plight of theology today, nineteenth-century poetry, the environmental crisis... and that is only a start. Many critics will say that this is her best book yet.--Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology
Facing the complex majesty of Cloud of the Impossible, one cannot help but feel like some Moses-manqué before a literary Sinai. The prose is finely wrought, tracing the inter- and indeterminacies of a provisionally named 'apophatic entanglement.' This is a beautiful and important book, which traces the contours of a transfigured, queerly-theological discourse and practice--precisely where such a thing might seem impossible.--Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Wesleyan University
Keller's bewildering and creatively beautiful body of work is often more poetry than prose... It is always worth the effort.--Christian Century
An impressive and astonishing work.--Syndicate Theology
This is an extraordinary book.... Readers will engage an astounding sweep of resources and conversation partners in this book.--Interpretation
One of the pleasures of Catherine Keller's work in constructive theology is that reading her texts allows us to watch her think, following out the lines of thought until surprises emerge. Her book, Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement, grants this pleasure even as its guiding metaphors of cloud and tangle warn us of the difficulty of thought to be followed. Despite the challenge that Keller takes on with these images, Cloud of the Impossible is lucid even while it is demanding.--Karmen MacKendrick "Journal of Religion "