J. Kameron Carter, language theory, science

J. Kameron Carter on Language and the Theological Roots of Scientific Classification

I have been waiting a very long time for the video of Carter’s lecture on “Language and the Theological Roots of Scientific Classification: Jose de Acosta and the Production of Modernity’s Racial Imagination.” A year in fact.

Part of the problem for the wait is that somehow I missed Scott’s alert back in March. Somehow I missed it, despite longing to share this with others. Boy I feel stupid. Anyways…

The lecture itself is incredibly helpful for understanding the modern colonial project. I cannot stress enough how crucial this lecture is for linking Carter’s thesis in his book Race to current life. I wish he’d put it in his book. But even if one doesn’t buy all of Carter’s thesis, this lecture stands on its own. Following one of the lecture’s clear implications, the colonial practice is racist because theo-scientific racial classification is part of the “inner architecture” of colonial-scientific life.

Without further delay, WATCH IT:

And the careful viewer could see me in the audience, more specifically, my better side!


10 thoughts on “J. Kameron Carter on Language and the Theological Roots of Scientific Classification

    • Not your ten points. We don’t always do it the way you fear we do. In fact, some of us are very aware of the narcissism and take steps to avoid it. Have you even read my about page? It addresses this. And I will be addressing it again in the future, actually. You might want to make a list for commenters, starting with #1: Crusading mentality, with no sense of theological play, pulling posts way off topic.

      • dbarber says:

        Perhaps I may have seen you as well, unknowingly, as I was talking with J in addition to a prof (possibly Dorrien?) and a number of this prof’s students. One of the students, I remember, asked a good question: what’s the positive theological project? J said something to the effect that it needed to be invented, that it does not presently exist. And I think that it’s this attitude that makes me appreciate J’s more recent lines of thought — not to look at critical thought in order to explain how Christianity already solves these problems raised by thought, but rather to admit that these problems render theological “tradition” itself limited, and in need of invention. This is an all too rare attitude that J has adopted.

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