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Medicalizing Mysticism

Video: Medicalizing Mysticism: Religion in Contemporary Psychedelic Trials

November 3, 2020

Amid the so-called psychedelic “renaissance” in science, researchers at Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and elsewhere report that they can occasion “mystical-type experiences” among trial volunteers being treated for depression, addiction, end-of-life anxiety, and other conditions.

Many studies correlate the strength of this experience with the therapeutic outcome. Other recent studies administer psychedelics to religious professionals without a clear therapeutic aim. In this case, an experience that might be assumed to be accessible to religious clergy through...

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Fred Moten

Video: Fred Moten: Note on a Blue Note in The Gospel of Barbecue

October 27, 2020

Fred Moten, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, discussed a poem called "On Listening to the Two-Headed Lady Blow Her Horn," which is from Honorée Fanonne Jeffers's extraordinary collection, The Gospel of Barbecue

He talked—in the wake and under the influence of Manolo Callahan, J. Kameron Carter, Ruby Sales and Frank Stewart—about how the disruption of the metaphysics of sovereignty which the physics of the barbecue undertakes is held, and held open, and released in Jeffers's rich musicality. After failing properly to analyze a musicality that defies analysis, he...

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Giovanni Bazzana discussed his recent book, "Having the Spirit of Christ: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in the Early Christ Groups," on October 7, 2020.

Video: Having the Spirit of Christ: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in the Early Christ Groups

October 26, 2020

Giovanni Bazzana, HDS Professor of New Testament, discussed his recent book, "Having the Spirit of Christ: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in the Early Christ Groups," on October 7, 2020. Angela Kim Harkins (Boston College) and William Arnal (University of Regina) served as respondents.... Read more about Video: Having the Spirit of Christ: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in the Early Christ Groups

Artist rendering of U.S. flag

Video: The Campaign for (White) Christian America: Lauren R. Kerby in Conversation with Jeff Sharlet

October 7, 2020

As the 2020 presidential election nears, Lauren R. Kerby and Jeff Sharlet discussed the politics of white evangelicals in the U.S. today. Kerby's book, Saving History: How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation's Capital and Redeem a Christian America, offers a starting point for this important conversation about how race, nationalism, and Christianity become entangled for many white evangelicals through what they learn from their leaders about American history.

Their political commitments are baffling to many observers, but this conversation will explore how white...

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Roland Griffiths presents Psilocybin and Mystical Experience

Video: Psilocybin and Mystical Experience: Implications for Healthy Psychological Functioning, Spirituality, and Religion

September 29, 2020

Mystical-type experiences are profound and often characterized by an authoritative sense of the unity and sacredness and sometimes interpreted as an encounter with God or Ultimate Reality. Although such experiences have been described by mystics and religious figures throughout the ages, there are few experimental studies because such experiences usually occur at low rates and often unpredictably. Psilocybin in the form the Psilocybe genus of mushrooms has been used for centuries within some cultures for religious and healing purposes.... Read more about Video: Psilocybin and Mystical Experience: Implications for Healthy Psychological Functioning, Spirituality, and Religion

Richard Wheeler with the Dalai Lama

Richard Warren Wheeler, Former CSWR Advisory Board Member and Chairman, 1929-2020

April 20, 2020

Richard Warren Wheeler,

February 8, 1929-April 20, 2020

CSWR Advisory Board Member and Chairman, 1974-1989

The CSWR celebrates the life and contributions of longtime Advisory Board member Richard Warren Wheeler who died April 20, 2020 at the age of 91. Rick was a friend of CSWR and longtime Advisory Board Member. His family has contributed the following information.  

Richard Warren Wheeler, 91, longtime Concord resident, died at his home on April 20, 2020, surrounded by family. Both his long, accomplished career and...

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Vivian Liska

Video: The Jew as Migrant: From Theory to Poetry

March 2, 2020

On February 25, Vivian Liska, Professor of German literature and director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, delivered the annual List Lecture in Jewish Studies at the CSWR.

The Jew as archetypal migrant is a pervasive trope in philosophy, politics, and the arts. Since Biblical times, the condition of exile was a source of discrimination, oppression, and suffering. Recent philosophical discourse, however, often regards it as the embodiment of a glorious deterritorialization that overlooks the hardship inherent in exile and migration....

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Peter D. Hershock

Video: The Intelligence Revolution and the New Attention Economy: An Ethical Singularity

February 19, 2020

Considerable attention has been directed to the possibility of a technological singularity when artificial intelligences “wake up” and start acting in their own self-interest. Long before then, however, humanity will confront an ethical singularity—a point at which the evaluation of values systems acquires infinite value.

Drawing on Buddhist resources, this talk makes the case that our prospects of realizing more humane global futures depends on changing how we are present and developing both capacities for and commitments to compassionate ethical creativity.

Peter...

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