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"Green Mass. The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen"

debate #2 | March 12, 2022 - 5pm
discussion + musical performance

- Peter Schuback
- Márcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
- Michael Marder

Green Mass is a meditation on—and with—twelfth century Christian mystic and polymath Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Attending to Hildegard's vegetal vision, which greens theological tradition and imbues plant life with spirit, philosopher Michael Marder uncovers a verdant mode of thinking. In a conversation with Márcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, resonating with music by Peter Schuback, he will stage a fresh encounter between present-day and premodern concerns, ecology and theology, philosophy and mysticism, the material and the spiritual, in word and sound.

Hildegard's lush notion of viriditas, the vegetal power of creation, is emblematic of her deeply entwined understanding of physical reality and spiritual elevation.
From blossoming flora to burning desert, Schuback and Marder play with the symphonic multiplicity of meanings in her thought, listening to the resonances between the ardency of holy fire and the aridity of a world aflame. Across Hildegard's cosmos, we hear the anarchic proliferation of her ecological theology, in which both God and greening are circular, without beginning or end.

X-Centric Futures is part of the monthly cycle We'd like to add and is organised by Giovanbattista Tusa and Bartholomew Ryan in collaboration with the CultureLab of the Institute of Philosophy of Nova and Carpintarias de São Lázaro Cultural Centre.

Peter Schuback is educated as a cellist in Stockholm, and complemented his studies under Mainardi, Palm, and Tortellier in Paris. He was a founding member of the ensemble Harpans Kraft in 1971. From 1973-1975, he taught both cello and contemporary music at the Malmö Conservetary for Music. Since 1975, he has been active as a freelance artist, performing a great number of concerts, mostly as a solo cellist. The composer Peter Schuback has mostly been educated through his work with other composers. Among his many works, several are for cello. The other works, mostly chamber music, have been written for different settings such as solo works, string quartets, mixed ensembles, and even some so-called open scores. One can also find orchestral music, tape music, and a chamber opera, as well as a later monodrama about Hölderlin. He tries to deal his music with the impossible and an attempt at creating a free tonal language.

Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback (1957) is a Brazilian philosopher, since 2000 based in Sweden, where she is Professor of Philosophy at Södertörn University in Stockholm. She did her doctoral studies in Germany and Brazil on F. W. J. Schelling’s concept of ‘beginning’. Since finishing her PhD, she has been working in the fields of German idealism, phenomenology and existential philosophy, as well as in the fields of aesthetic and contemporary political thought. Her main focus has been on the philosophical question of the forming of forms, ecstatic temporality, the sketch-like structure of the event of thinking, and the relation between the movements of thought and the coming to word. She is the translator into Portuguese of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time. Her latest publications include: Time in Exile in Conversation with Heidegger, Blanchot and Lispector (SUNY, 2020), The Fascism of Ambiguity (Bloomsbury, due August 2022), Atrás do Pensamento: a filosofia de Clarice Lispector (Bazar do tempo, due June 2022), and in Swedish Ex-Brasilis: Brev från pandemin (Faethon, 2022).

Michael Marder is IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. His writings span the fields of ecological theory, phenomenology, and political thought. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and eighteen monographs, including Plant-Thinking (2013); Phenomena—Critique—Logos (2014); The Philosopher’s Plant (2014); Dust (2016), Energy Dreams (2017), Heidegger (2018), Political Categories (2019), Pyropolitics (2015, 2020); Dump Philosophy (2020); Hegel's Energy (2021); and Green Mass (2021) among others. For more information, consult his website

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