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Wendy Wiseman

Visiting Assiatant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Contact

wwiseman@indiana.edu
Sycamore Hall, Rm.332

Education

Ph.D., University of California, fish Barbara, 2010

Research Interests

Professional Biography

My specialization is in the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and his quest for a “post-religious” religiosity that would usher in a new age of life-affirmation and creativity once the supposed “curse” of Christianity and the moral God is lifted. I read Nietzsche critically, as a fundamentally modernist thinker who shares company with Soren Kierkegaard, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Karl Marx, great 19th century thinkers of the crisis of “the present age” and of a future of radical difference. In all these figures of apocalyptic modernity, any neat divisions between religious/irreligious or between piety and “blasphemy” simply cannot hold. I find that this makes them, and Nietzsche in particular, wonderfully fruitful guides for rethinking what constitutes properly “religious” beliefs and practices under the conditions of post- or late modernity.

I have enjoyed a special vantage of the “conditions of late modernity” for the last five years in Istanbul, Turkey, where I taught courses on modernity, globalization, social justice, the Abrahamic tradtions, global politics, and introduction to philosophy—in English—to Turkish university students. Turkey’s status as a secular republic with a devout Muslim population, bordering Iraq, Iran, and Syria, brings the successes and failures, the pleasures and the traumas, of the modern Western secularizing project powerfully to life. I look forward to sharing what I have learned from my experience in Turkey—including the mass student-led protests against the government in June, 2013—with American students who are interested in global political economy, religion, and social change.

Also in Istanbul, I participated in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training Workshop, where all 440 participants from 72 countries promised Mr. Gore that we would serve as community advocates of action on climate change and as teachers of basic climate science, following the findings of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest report. As someone deeply concerned for the diversity and quality of all life on our planet, I embrace Mr. Gore’s efforts to bring about social, political, and cultural change through “horizontal” education that encourages solidarity—a sense of shared responsibility and destiny—and a commitment to local, national, and global citizenship. Inspired by this concern, my current research projects revolve around the (phenomenological) question of the “future,” and its modern status as the horizon of transformation and progress, in light of the dire predictions, often either ignored or denied, of climate scientists. I explore the apocalyptic tenor of warnings of runaway global warming in light of the history of apocalypticism, and look for traces of “messianic” expectation (for “good” and for “ill”) in the rhetoric and attitudes of those who would triumph over the coming storm.

Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights

“What Was and What Will Be: Denial as a Form of Violence.” Article, Violence: Probing the Boundaries, Rodopi Press, forthcoming January, 2014.

“The Politics of Teaching of Indigenous Traditions in Aotearoa/New Zealand.” Article, Journal for Teaching Theology and Religion, forthcoming January 2014.

“Nothing is Without Reason: Climate Change and the Global Future as Saturated Phenomena.” Analecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research, Vol. CXIV, 2013.

“The Sublime Subject in Kant’s Metaphysic and Jean-Luc Marion’s Phenomenology.” Epoché, Winter 2006.

“The Sophian Element in the Novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, Spring 2005.

 

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