Mary-Jane Rubenstein diagnoses the perennial Western repugnance toward "pantheism" as a fear of categorical mixture. Mobilizing such mixtures against entangled hierarchies of race, gender, and species, this book cobbles together pantheist "monstrosities" from a range of heretical philosophies, renegade theologies, ridiculed biologies, multiverse cosmologies, and new animisms and materialisms.
Introduction: The Matter with Pantheism
Mary-Jane Rubenstein is professor of religion; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; and science in society at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (Columbia, 2009) and Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (Columbia, 2014) and the coeditor of Entangled Worlds: Religion, Science, and New Materialisms (with Catherine Keller, 2017).
Pantheologies is an elegant and lively tour of pantheism and
of the racialized gender panics it has prompted in Euro-American
thought. I leave the book with the sense that the goat-god Pan is
still roaming around, disrupting the either/ors of Western
metaphysics and presenting a cosmos both more amazing and more
discomfiting. Rubenstein has written an excellent book. -- Jane
Bennett, author of Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of
In Pantheologies, Mary-Jane Rubenstein answers the old problem of the One and the Many by offering a resolute triumph of the Many over the One. Give Rubenstein a One-any one-and she will make a Many out of it. I applaud this temperament, as William James called it, and the intuition that it generates and reflects. Multiplicity, thy name is woman. Rubenstein will save us every time from the totalitarian tendencies of certain regions of process philosophy, from the Teutonic idealisms of post-Hegelian theologies, even from the totalizing forms of monistic pantheisms. -- Nancy Frankenberry, editor of The Faith of Scientists: In Their Own Words
It is not out of charity or historicism that Mary-Jane Rubenstein channels this maligned, misunderstood, and mangled legacy. No, there is something in the pan of theism that our Anthropocene mess of a species (its atheists and its theologians included) needs. Now. Mesmerized by the brilliant weave of Pantheologies' irresistible irony, gorgeous prose, and holographic erudition, readers will be hooked by a mystery too suspenseful in its plotline and too urgent in its intersections to set aside. -- Catherine Keller, author of Political Theology of the Earth: Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public
Rubenstein's examination of pantheism renders a comprehensive and pluralistic view of the cosmos that will interest readers curious about the intersection of religion and philosophy. * Library Journal *
Rubenstein's critical readings are cogent and deft. The book is both erudite and adventurous. -- Beatrice Marovich * Journal of the American Academy of Religion *