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March 02 , 2009

Signs and Wonders

Theology After Modernity


We are told modernity's end will destabilize familiar ways of knowing, doing, and being, but are these changes we should dread-or celebrate? Four significant events (and the iconic images that represent them) catalyze this question: the consecration of openly gay Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson, the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, the politicization of the death of Terri Schiavo, and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina.
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Framed by an original appropriation of Michel Foucault, and drawing on resources in visual culture theory and the history of photography, Ellen T. Armour explores the anxieties, passions, and power dynamics bound up in the photographic representation and public reception of these events. Together, these phenomena expose modernity's benevolent and malevolent disruptions and reveal the systemic fractures and fissures that herald its end, for better and for worse.

In response to these signs and wonders, Armour lays the groundwork for a theology and philosophy of life better suited to our (post)modern moment: one that owns up to the vulnerabilities that modernity sought to disavow and better enables us to navigate the ethical issues we now confront.
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