Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power
Conclusion: Under the Rose
The book concludes by returning to the relationship between affect and postsecularism, highlighting how affect theory complicates secularism by diagramming the flows of power moving outside the field of language. Language and belief themselves, it is argued, are the result of what George Levine calls wormlike processes: affective impulses coalescing and producing political formations. Far from looking down on the world from an angelic standpoint, language and belief (including scientific knowledge) are themselves products of affective landscapes. Materialist phenomenology works with affect theory to track these systems. Furthermore, the conclusion suggests that identifying the richness and complexity of affective experience outside of language necessitates a reconsideration of our relationships with animals. This is especially true of the violent factory farm emerging out of late capitalism. Religious Affects makes a new set of mutually rewarding relationships between human and nonhuman animals possible.