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Antropologi Globale Studier Seminar Religionsvidenskab

(Mis)trust, (un)certainty and intention: how can one trust an inscrutable God?

Academic hour with Matthew Carey

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onsdag 3. april 2019,  kl. 13:00 - 15:00


Moesgård, The lecture Hall (4206, 139)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord” Proverbs 3: 5-7.


This paper asks the question of what it means to “trust” in an omnipotent and arbitrary deity. If by trust, we understand (following Luhmann) the assumption that one can “anticipate the future…, behave as though the future were certain” (1979: 10) and, more particularly, behave as though the behavior of another agent were predictable, then it is all but meaningless to trust in a deity who “moves in mysterious ways” (deren Weger sind unergründlich). This interrogation is taken as a starting point for exploring the different possible configurations of trust and mistrust according to whether or not one assumes the other to be knowable. I suggest that the both trust and mistrust can be declined in two distinct forms, one characterized by relative certainty and the other by epoché.