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QNS Black Religions Research Presentation- Spirituality, Blackness, and Religious Studies: A Decolonial Dialectic

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Online (Zoom)
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Ahmed Ilmi

Spirituality, Blackness, and Religious Studies: A Decolonial Dialectic 

June 15, 2021 | 10 am – 11 am

Abstract: There is no universal definition for spirituality since it implies a relationship with what people variously refer to as God, the Creator, the Great Mystery, or the higher self or purpose. What is essential, however, is how individuals and communities define their own spirituality and spiritual practices. For Black peoples of African descent, spirituality has been an anchor encompassing histories, identities, cultural beliefs and practices, rituals, and notions of community. In this presentation, I will demonstrate that mobilizing a decolonial dialectic allows us to think through spirituality as constituting emancipatory practices and multidimensional articulations of both Black culture and Black/African community-building. Drawing on the seminal work of W.E.B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folks, I will explore linkages between Black spirituality, the struggle for liberation, and the possibilities of religious studies.

Allison Gowanlock
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