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Spiritual Citizenship Conference

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July 13, 2021 @ 10:00 am July 18, 2021 @ 9:00 pm

About the Conference

The events of recent years have inspired a deep collective reckoning that extends to the very heart of what it means to be an engaged citizen. The current struggles around race, culture, gender, and ecology reflect a deep division that calls into question our preconceived notions of who we think we are and what we’re capable of becoming. Across religious and cultural divisions, prophetic voices – inspired and grounded in spiritual traditions – have historically roused and sustained profound movements for social justice. And, as much as spirituality can be a balm and a pacifier, it can also be the fuel and the language that bridges the divisive ground between us.  As we seek greater depth in practice and as we form new kinds of community, we are individually and collectively called to reimagine spirituality and citizenship. 

Activists like Gandhi, Gaura Devi, Martin Luther King, Simone Weil, Thich Nhat Han, Elie Wiesel, Gustavo Gutierrez, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa, and the Dalai Lama each spoke from within their religious traditions and across religious boundaries. They worked in response to the needs of their times and they constructively used the languages of their religious and spiritual traditions to ground, inspire, and ultimately transform their communities. As we face the colossal challenges of systemic racism and environmental degradation, we need practices that restore hope, acceptance, and strength. At the same time, we also need critical interventions that can help us reshape our practices so that they are inclusive and sensitive in ways previously unimagined.

The democratization of information, while useful in bringing previously marginalized voices to the center, has also led to the widespread dissemination of misinformation and a resultant fissuring of cultural, national, and international identities. Shared values are crumbling at the same time as they are replaced by a zero-sum game of competing narratives and worldviews. As previous sources of unity and connection like religion and local and national identities continue to ossify, what contemplative perspectives might we look to for guidance on how to mend a broken society and how to heal a fractured world?

In this free online conference, activists, scholar-practitioners, philosophers, and researchers will connect the insights of contemplative traditions to the circumstances of our contemporary world. Through talks, workshops, and panel discussions, these inspired leaders will highlight the silver lining that appears when we augment our current socio-political commitments with the wisdom of spiritual and esoteric traditions. From a growing despair, we will locate the impulse for creative, cultural evolution. From an obsession with apocalyptic possibilities, we will cultivate a vision for the wiser path ahead – even as we face honestly the hard work yet to come. 

Keynote Discussion: Dr. Cornel West (interviewed by Oneika Mays)
Speakers & Presenters: 30+ scholars, researchers and activists
Daily Themes: Exploring conceptions of spiritually-informed citizenship, ecology, LGBTQ and racial healing, challenging colonialism & cultural mis-appropriation

In this Free Online Conference, participants will:

  • explore what it is to be a “spiritually-informed citizen”
  • discuss now notions of “interconnectedness” found in contemplative traditions could ground a healing narrative for our divided times
  • develop a cultural sensitivity that avoids cultural mis-appropriation
  • reflect on race and contemplative practice
  • look at social justice from a contemplative perspective
  • forge principles of ethical communication for hard conversations (or, how not to default to ad hominem attacks)
  • engage political theory for an awakening world
  • unpack the role of “cosmic alienation” in our conceptions of politics
  • leveraging contemplative insights to forge a politics of love
  • practically explore collective techniques for resolving historical traumas

This conference will be presented from Tuesday, July 13th to July 18th, 2021.  Convert to your timezone here. In case you cannot make the live sessions, all who register will receive links to watch the recordings throughout the conference weekend.

Enter Your Details to Register:

Once you have registered, you will be sent an email confirmation with information about how to view/attend the conference. Please check your inbox and if it lands in “spam”, drag the email into your inbox to ensure you receive the emails you need to attend. For support, please reply to your confirmation email or contact hello@embodiedphilosophy.com.

Talks, Workshops and Panel Discussions featuring: