CSWR

Espirito

Video: Negation, Not-knowing, and the Dark in Brazilian and Cuban Creole Forms of Religion

February 22, 2022

In this event, Diana Espírito Santo will examine the ambiguous, dark spaces of paradox from the point of view of two distinct ethnographic sites: Brazil and Cuba, with Umbanda and creole espiritismo respectively. In exploring the various vignettes—of a self that must forget itself in order to retain its mode of conscious trance in Brazil, of the impossibility of knowing one’s spirits in a multiplying metamorphic cosmos in Cuba, both signaling the general breakdown of reality and its knowability—she will think through an interstitial, in-between, impossible logic, and will call out the gaps in scholarly approach premised on the notion that knowledge is there to be grasped, with the right techniques.

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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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