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"Interrupting Your Life: An Ethics for the Coming Storm" (2014)
- Presidential Address to the American Academy of Religion, November 23, 2014
- We dig up what is left of life crushed to carbon beneath us, and we burn it: to make important things, really—hospital intensive care units, synthetically derived insulin and steel beams for the new high school library. But we burn it for nothing, too, really, for vanity and emptiness.
- For what are we interrupted? For the grandest dramas and the greatest joys, ... for true loves, for desperate needs ... If you are a moral being, you will have done well to be a being who has broken off, one who has stopped.
- A theology of interruption demands we attend to the interruption as if the interruption were the real, and the other stuff of our lives a distraction.
- The wealthiest have garnered the vast majority of wealth and burned the vast majority of carbon at the expense of the lives and the health of the poor.
- In scriptural texts we think important, the point is made over and over again: Your moral activities can affect the rain, the harvest, and the health of everything you love. The link between moral choices and material outcomes is made continually, and it is received and studied toward normative action. The texts suggest the interruption of desire, of consumption, and of acquisition.