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Theo Focus on Faculty with Catherine Keller

With eyes on the past, the professor looks cautiously to the future

January 2022 – Dr. Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology in the Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University, reflects on the resonance between the ancient apocalypse and current global crisis.

“The unhealth of democracy and the climate, not to mention the global pandemic, makes that association inevitable in secular and religious rhetoric,” said Keller, who emphasizes that apocalypse actually means “unveiling” not “the end,” “disclosure” not “closure.”

As a constructive theologian, Keller’s work focuses on social and ecological justice, and readings of theology across a range of scripture, mysticism, philosophy, and politics.

Keller is the author of countless books, anthologies, and essays. Her most recent book, Facing Apocalypse: Climate, Democracy and Other Last Chances, exposes the deep spiritual roots of the threat of climate change and ecological devastation.

Her other books include Apocalypse Now and Then, God and PowerFace of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming, Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement, On the Mystery, and most recently Political Theology of the Earth: Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public.

Keller is the director of Drew’s annual Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium (TTC). The conference, now in its 20th year, gathers renowned theological scholars to engage in deep theoretical conversation. Past TTC contributions are available in a series of volumes published by Fordham University Press.

Keller, who earned her PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate School and her MDiv from Eden Theological Seminary, is a member of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church. She preaches on occasion at the Church of the Village in New York City.

“The possibilities do sparkle in the darkness of improbability,” said Keller at a recent virtual book launch event, hosted by Drew. “Some chances may be last chances—but they are real chances.”

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