The Last Living God: Reading Schelling in Hawaii

Environment, Space, Place 14 (1):53-69 (2022)
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Abstract

Abstract:This essay maintains that despite the pervasive racism of his writings, Schelling can nevertheless contribute to an understanding of how to inhabit divine places such as the home of the goddess Pele on Hawai’i Island. First, his late Philosophy of Mythology shows how non-religious people can avoid the phenomenon explored by Jean-Luc Nancy of experiencing certain places as sacred and yet without gods. Second, Schelling’s early speculative geology can help make sense of a local issue in environmental justice by articulating why the rupture of the earth can itself be seen as a form of divinity. And third, Schelling’s conception of individuals as “co-poets” (Mitdichter) of nature has broad resonances with present-day scholarly receptions of traditional Hawaiian religion.

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Christopher Lauer
University of Hawai'i at Hilo

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