Center for the Study of World Religions

Exploring Magical Consciousness

Video: Exploring Magical Consciousness as a Form of Knowledge

October 26, 2021

Welcome to the first event of GnoseologiesTranscendence and Transformation Today in which we will discuss “magic” with Dr. Susan Greenwood. This series focuses on ways of knowing that are often labeled as “non-rational.” Traditionally referred to as gnosis in Western philosophical and religious traditions, and often understood in contraposition to science (episteme), these ways of knowing are becoming more and more influential in contemporary societies, popular culture, and academic research. What is the place of spirit...

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The Divine Feminine

Video: The Divine Feminine: A Modern Genealogy

October 26, 2021

Fellows Hadi Fakhoury and Mimi Winick for a discussion with Joy Dixon (University of British Columbia) of her first book, Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England, along with her new book project tentatively titled, Sexual Heresies: Religion, Science, and Sexuality in Modern Britain. Among other things, the discussion will explore a genealogy of the concept of the “divine feminine” in modern esotericism, and its intersection with questions of politics, religion, sex, gender, and sexuality. This event is the first in the CSWR’s year-long series on “The Divine Feminine and Its Discontents.”
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Native American Church

Video: The Native American Church and the Sacrament of Peyote

October 14, 2021

A conversation with Native American Church leaders Steven Benally and Sandor Iron Rope, who discussed the centuries-old sacramental use of plant medicines such as peyote. They explored the history of the persecution of this plant medicine and the Indigenous peoples and cultures for whom it is sacred, and how Indigenous perspectives might complicate or challenge the contemporary “psychedelic renaissance.”
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Leah Penniman, Black Kreyol farmer and food justice activist

Leading the Fight for Food Justice

September 18, 2019

“We always begin by thanking our ancestors,” said Leah Penniman, a Black Kreyol farmer and food justice activist, at the start of her September 17 talk, “Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice,” hosted by the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS).

Concordance: An Evening With Susan Howe

Video: Concordance: An Evening with Susan Howe

April 24, 2019

Award-winning American poet Susan Howe visited Harvard Divinity School on April 24 to speak about the binding together of freedom and law, spontaneity and habit, as occasions for awakening a reader to the exaltation of spirit in process. Crossing the guarded borders between image and word, individual and community, history and the present, poetry provides an opening to the transcendent order that chance makes possible.

Susan Howe's collection of poems, That This, won the Bollingen Prize in 2011. In 2017 she received the Robert Frost award for distinguished lifetime...

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Nainoa Thompson

Video: The Land and the Waters are Speaking: Indigenous Views on Climate Change

April 4, 2019

The ongoing destruction of Earth’s natural systems is the result of decisions, made daily, by billions of people. These decisions are voluntary and involuntary at once, collective and personal. Two indigenous leaders—Nainoa Thompson and Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq (Uncle)—have both been identified by their communities as messengers who will guide us through climate challenges as they reflect on their traditions and spiritual practices.

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a Pwo navigator, who, inspired by his kūpuna (...

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