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37 minutes | 4 days ago
Becoming A Truth-Teller: A Conversation with Sophfronia Scott
Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time and People. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published in 2004 Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards. Her other books include the novel is Unforgivable Love, an essay collection titled Love’s Long Line, and a memoir, This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-authored with her son. Her most recent book, The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton, was published just this year in March of 2021. In her chapter "Hopeful Eyes on a Hopeless Issue: How to Resist Racism," she writes "If we don’t become the truth-tellers, then a different kind of erosion can happen in which resentment breeds, a resentment that would threaten the wholeness of my heart and soul. If nothing else, I must be whole and respond to racism in a way that is true to the depths of my being. What does that look like?" In this episode, author Sophfronia Scott and I discuss the power of truth-telling, encounters with mysticism, and the ways in which contemplation can lead to mystical encounter. Of mysticism she says, “There is something all around us that sustains us and the mystical is when we can reach for that and to know that there is something beyond the veil.” More about Sophfronia.Support the podcast.
26 minutes | 18 days ago
Patient Endurance: A Conversation with Sister Barbara Jean LaRochester
Sister Barbara Jean LaRochester is a Carmelite nun in Baltimore, where she's been a Catholic sister since 1972. Previously, she spent 17 years in Philadelphia as an active nun working in a Catholic hospital and teaching on the weekends. She was also a board member of the National Black Sisters Conference and was active in the civil rights movement during the height of the race riots in 1968. She’s been a spiritual director since 1982.Sister Barbara told the Washington Post, “There comes a point when you have to get off the merry-go-round. I could only do so much with my two hands. Through prayer, I feel I can touch the world.”In this interview I ask Sister Barbara about mysticism's role in activism, and we talk about Black Lives Matter, the insurrection of January 6th, and more. She defines a mystic as “someone that observes mysteries or experiences but their intuition is held by God. And so they’re able to understand beyond the human understanding, beyond it.”Sister Barbara Jean's writings1983 NY Times piece1983 Washington Post pieceSupport the podcast
18 minutes | a month ago
We Are Interconnected: A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey
The Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey is the author of "Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology." She is a scholar, social justice activist, and military veteran.Since January of 2018, she has served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Constructive Theology at The Meadville Lombard Theological School. Before that, Dr. Lightsey served as Associate Dean of Community Life and Lifelong Learning, Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice at the Boston University School of Theology.Her work centers on the causes of peacemaking, racial justice and LGBTQ rights. In her book, she writes, “Queer womanist theology makes the claim that those bodies of LGBTQ persons are important for the tasks of helping build a peaceable and just world. That happens in relationships.” and “At the end of the day, eradicating oppression is the heart of queer womanist theological reflection. We must examine not just racism but sexisms, not just homophobia but transphobia, not jut poverty but war, and not jut the fluidity of boundaries but the hegemony of the status quo.”
44 minutes | 2 months ago
Everybody Can Be A Mystic: A Conversation with Therese Taylor-Stinson
A conversation with Therese Taylor-Stinson. Therese is the co-editor of "Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color," and the editor of "Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around — Stories of Contemplation and Justice." She is an ordained deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), a lay pastoral caregiver, and a graduate of and an associate faculty member of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, where she previously served as a member of the board.She is the founder of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, an international, ecumenical/interfaith association of persons of color with a ministry of spiritual accompaniment. A native of Washington DC, she now lives in Maryland. Her ministry, like her books, explores the intersection of contemplative spirituality and the ongoing struggle for social justice and the dismantling of racism.To learn more about the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, visit www.sdcnetwork.org
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