Articles by: Ian Barns

Author Biography:

Ian Barns is a retired academic with ongoing research interests in the nexus between sustainability, technology and theology. He has a PhD in the social history of science. From 1988 to 2011 he worked at Murdoch University in the School of Sustainability and before that at RMIT in the School of Humanities between 1985 and 1987. He now lives in Melbourne.

The Metaphysics of Planetary Hope: Exploring texts on faith and practice in a technocapitalist world

A new consciousness cannot be built solely on a better scientific understanding of the world; it must be rooted in a different ontology, a different conception of reality.

Whither Religion in a World of Compounding Crises?

Introduction to Arena Journal no. 49/50, June 2018. By Stephen Ames, Ian Barns, John Hinkson, Paul James and Gordon Preece

Informit: Whither religion in a world of compounding crises?

Though a significant minority across the world enjoy the gross material benefits of a prodigiously productive global economy, our planet is at the same time beset by escalating system-level crises. Deep economic inequality is intensifying both between and within national polities. Ecological degradation is calling into question the future of the earth as we know it, with disruptive climate change only the most prominent issue. Global (dis)order is stoking increased militarisation, including the possession of…

Informit: Can we re-imagine a good society after neoliberalism?

In the conversations that led to this volume, there was a common agreement that the challenge of navigating beyond 'neoliberalism' is central to dealing with the present daunting civilisation crisis - of which disruptive climate change is the most prominent (albeit not the only) symptom. Like many on the Left, we have been perplexed by the resilience of the neoliberal regime even after the global financial crisis. We have also been intrigued by the complex…

Informit: Contesting technological modernity

In his reflections a decade ago on forty years of Arena, Guy Rundle observed: Beneath the surface of current events, a far more substantial change has occurred - the disappearance from the Left political imagination of the possibility of a world transformed in the image of human equality, freedom and possibility (whether it be called the socialist project, communism or whatever). That possibility, which has been the horizon within which political action has been set…

Informit: Re-enchantment of a post-industrial world

When David Cameron's Big Society project was launched in Britain recently, it provoked a good deal of critical and derisory responses from both sides of British politics. In their opinion pieces in 'The Guardian', columnists Jonathan Freedland and Madeleine Bunting endorsed the generally sceptical assessment of the credibility of the Big Society rhetoric, given that the new government was at the same time enacting savage budget cuts which would take away the funds from those…

Informit: Who will carry the fire?

A 2007 report on climate change policy by David Spratt and Phillip Sutton, Climate Code Red, has as its sub-title 'The Case for a Sustainability Emergency'. To speak of a 'sustainability emergency' is a very useful way of re-framing policy development not only in relation to climate change, but also oil depletion, pervasive ecological destruction and other serious socioenvironmental challenges. In particular it resists the easy cooption to business-as-usual politics that has been the fate…

Informit: Good news for a planet in trouble [Speech to a meeting of the Zadok Institute.]