Headline: Deep Time and Secular Time. A Critique of the Environmental ‘Long View’

The Anthropocene concept allows human history to be imagined within the temporal framework of planetary processes. Accordingly, some environmentalists increasingly favour massively lengthening the temporal horizons of moral concern. Whilst there are defensible reasons for doing so, I wish to take issue with the ‘secular time’ perspective underlying some such approaches. To make my case, I present, in the first section, two recent manifestations of the long view perspective: a) ‘deep future’ narratives in popular climate science and futurism; b) the ideas behind the Long Now Foundation. In the second section, I apply a critical lens to these perspectives via classic analyses of secular time by Charles Taylor, Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben. I conclude by suggesting that these post-secular critiques should be considered alongside recent approaches to the Anthropocene and the ‘geological turn’ from new materialist perspectives.

Publication Year
2019
Publication Type
Academic Articles
Citation

Skrimshire, S. (2019): Deep Time and Secular Time. A Critique of the Environmental ‘Long View’. - Theory, culture & society, 36, 1, p. 63-81.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0263276418777307

DOI
10.1177/0263276418777307
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