The savage side: Reclaiming violent models of God
Carroll, Beverlee Jill
Doctor of Philosophy
The goal of this work is to revive a version of natural theology, and to retheorize violence within a religious context in a way that accords with the multiple and varied, but universal human experience of violence in the natural world. Using the nature writing of Annie Dillard and the philosophical categories of Emmanuel Levinas, I propose models of deity based on violence in the natural world, and use these models to critique those offered by a dominant strand of American feminist religious thought. Finally, I argue that the religious vision that accompanies violent models of deity, unlike that of dominant feminist thought, accommodates in significant ways the insights of important critiques of religion.
Philosophy of Religion; American literature; Theology