chapter  Chapter 3
Geoengineering and the sacred
A brief history in four characters
WithBronislaw Szerszynski
Pages 4

Cultural and religious ideas can also be seen as shaping the very idea of geoengineering. In Nature, Technology and the Sacred, the author argues that in order to understand our current "technological condition" we have to locate it within the context of long historical trends and transformations in Western religion. In order to do this he take a selection of "characters" from history who were ascribed the power to control atmospheric phenomena, and explore them as models for the "maker of climates" that is imagined in geoengineering discourse. His first character is the sacred king. The second character is the cunning woman or man of medieval European culture, who performed various divinatory, medical, and religious roles within peasant communities. The third character is the magus of Renaissance Europe. Finally, let us consider the experimental philosopher as conceived by Francis Bacon, often seen as the originator of the scientific method.