Speaker Series: Timothy Morton


On Feburary 27th, the C+V speaker series features Dr. Timothy Morton, a scholar known for his work on global warming as investigated through the cross-disciplinary lenses of ecology and religious studies.


This timely lecture explores how predominant cultural, social and religious narratives intersect and challenge each other in the face of crisis to foster dynamic communities characterized by diverse values and beliefs.


Attendees will be asked to consider how powerful narratives can be better understood and employed to actually catalyze manifestations of strong community ties across shared values.

Apocalypse No: How Communities Cope with Climate Change

In this, the inaugural Community + Values keynote lecture, noted scholar Timothy Morton will take aim at the default apocalypse narrative in evangelical Christianity. He will build a case for disarming the idea that the Earth should burn to hasten the second coming. Along the way, he will show how the concept derives from a highly fatalist place within the nihilist thinking that one philosopher describes as “Platonism for the masses.”

But how? After all, dismantling a fantasy could drive its subscribers insane. Or they might resist. Or double down.

This provocative lecture will demand that we think about the ways in which evangelical Christianity’s apocalyptic narrative intersects with the sense of community and values of people both within and outside this group. It will challenge us to consider how this powerful narrative can be effectively addressed to promote more positive humanistic manifestations of community and shared values.

Timothy Morton, the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University, co-wrote and appears in Living in the Future’s Past, a 2018 film about global warming with Jeff Bridges. He has collaborated with Björk, Laurie Anderson, Jennifer Walshe, Hrafnhildur Arnadottir, Sabrina Scott, Adam McKay, Justin Guariglia, Olafur Eliasson and Pharrell Williams. He is the author of numerous books including, Being Ecological, Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People, Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence, Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, and Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality, among others.

The event will include a reception, speaking engagement, and post-talk reception catered by Sodexo.

4:30-5:00pm | Welcome Reception (coffee, tea and water)

5:00-6:00pm | Presentation by Dr. Morton

6:00-6:30pm | Q&A

6:30-7:30pm | Cocktail Hour with Dr. Morton