"(Mis)trust, (un)certainty and intention: can one trust an inscrutable God?"

Religious Diversity Colloquium Winter 2018/19

  • Date: Nov 19, 2018
  • Time: 10:30 - 12:00
  • Speaker: Matthew Carey (Copenhagen University)
  • Matthew Carey is assistant professor in anhropology at Copenhagen University, and his main thrust of research revolves around Tachelhit-Berber speaking communities in Southern Morocco. His PhD at the University of Cambridge focused on questions of political organisation, institutionality and anarchism, and his postdoctoral research explored subjectivity, intimacy and emotions in the Moroccan High Atlas. His recent work has focused on mistrust and lying (Mistrust. An Ethnographic Theory, University of Chicago Press, 2017).
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 12, Göttingen
  • Room: Conference Room
"(Mis)trust, (un)certainty and intention: can one trust an inscrutable God?"

For more details please contact vdvoffice(at)mmg.mpg.de.

This lecture begins by asking the question of what it means to “trust” in an omnipotent and arbitrary deity. If by trust, we understand (following Luhmann) the assumption that one can “anticipate the future…, behave as though the future were certain” (1979: 10) and, more particularly, behave as though the behavior of another agent were predictable, then it is all but meaningless to trust in a deity who “moves in mysterious ways” (deren Wege sind unergründlich). This interrogation is taken as a starting point for exploring the different possible configurations of trust and mistrust according to whether or not one assumes the other to be knowable. Matthew Carey suggests that the both trust and mistrust can be declined in two distinct forms, one characterized by relative certainty and the other by epoché.

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