How climate, empire and secularisation combined to make the modern world
How did disenchantment lead to climate change? The States of the Earth argues that European empires have become secular as they were entering the age of coal and using Orientalism as a way of racializing the Other. While industrial states started colonizing parts of Asia and Africa in the aftermath of the French Revolution, massive conversion of natives to Christianity waned in favor of the civilizing mission. The critique of Heaven has thus overturned the Earth through empire and racial capitalism. Our globalized civilization has not been able to get rid of Heaven but has decided to look for it on Earth by accumulating growth through the devastation of nature. The secular age is therefore a fossil age and the Anthropocene, a Secularocene. Far from defending religion against a disenchanted modernity, this book suggests that phenomena such as evangelism or political Islam should be seen as products of empire and secularization. Religions themselves have adapted to a world in which steam and railways were considered as divine.