Published May 04, 2015

‘Creaturely Cosmologies’

MC’s Donaldson authors book on why metaphysics matters for animal liberation
Brianne Donaldson, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies at Monmouth College, has authored a book, “Creaturely Cosmologies: Why Metaphysics Matters for Animal and Planetary Liberation.” It will be released later this month by Lexington Books.
 
Metaphysics – or the grand narratives about reality that shape a community – has historically been identified as one of the primary oppressive factors in violence against animals, the environment and other subordinated populations, and thus dismantled and dismissed by many ethicists and theorists. 
           
However, according to Donaldson, “This rejection of metaphysics has allowed inadequate worldviews to be smuggled back into secular rights-based systems, and into politics, language, arts, economics, media and science under the guise of value-free and narrowly human-centric facts that relegate many populations to the margins and exclude them from consideration as active members of the planetary community.
 
She continued, “Those concerned with systemic violence against creatures and other oppressed populations must overcome this allergy to metaphysics in order to illuminate latent assumptions at work in their own worldviews, and to seek out dynamic, many-sided and relational narratives about reality that are more adequate to a universe of responsive and creative world-shaping creatures.”
 
Her text examines two such worldviews – Alfred North Whitehead’s process-relational thought in the west and the nonviolent Indian tradition of Jainism, alongside theorists such as Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway and Karen Barad. The challenge is not to throw out metaphysical narratives altogether, asserts Donaldson, but to seek out genuinely better accounts of reality more adequate to the “creaturely kin and planetary fellows with whom we co-shape our future.”
 
Donaldson is editor of “Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and The Environment” (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014) and will be coordinating an international conference in June on The Future of Meat Without Animals in California.
 
Donaldson received her Ph.D. from the Claremont School of Theology in 2013. She also holds master’s degrees in religion from Claremont and theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Seminary, and she completed her undergraduate work at Goshen College. Her research explores the intersection of Indian and western worldviews, ecological ethics and religion and science, especially through the traditions of Jainism, Sikhism, and Whitehead’s philosophy.
 
Learn more about “Creaturely Cosmologies” at http://www.amazon.com/Creaturely-Cosmologies-Metaphysics-Liberation-Contemporary/dp/1498501796.
Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>