Sacred Practices in Times of Upheaval
As we navigate through these troubling times, what sacred practices—religious or secular—help to ground, console, or inspire?
On Monday, August 10, 2020, PsalmSeason hosted this online interactive exploration with a group of esteemed community leaders and ritual-makers on the role of sacred practices in this time of upheaval.
Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University, where she has taught as a Founding Faculty member since 1978. She studied at Cornell College (BA), Florida State University (MA), Columbia University, University of British Columbia, and Walden University (PhD). She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism for forty-five years and is an Acharya (senior dharma teacher) of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Naropa’s founder.
Reverend Dr. Leslie Callahan is the first female pastor of the 119-year-old St. Paul’s Baptist Church, located in the heart of Philadelphia. A native of Gary, West Virginia, Dr. Callahan experienced her first Christian education and formation at Apostolic Temple Church where she developed an enduring love for Jesus Christ and for Christ’s body, the Church. Having experienced her call to ministry at an early age, Dr. Callahan began the public proclamation of the gospel at age 19. Committed to education, Dr. Callahan earned the Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Harvard University/Radcliffe, the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Religion from Princeton University. Her research interests include religious history in the United States, particularly independent African American Christianity and Pentecostal studies.
Casper ter Kuile is the author of The Power of Ritual (HarperOne) and the co-host of the award-winning podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. He is also a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and the co-founder of startup Sacred Design Lab, a research and design consultancy working to create a culture of belonging and becoming. He co-authored “How We Gather” and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Vice, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post. He holds Masters of Divinity and Public Policy from Harvard University, and before moving to the U.S. co-founded Campaign Bootcamp and the UK Youth Climate Coalition, both training and mobilizing young activists.
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul NYC and the creator of Storahtelling, Inc. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performance artist, he received his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2016. Rabbi Amichai is a member of the Global Justice Fellowship of the American Jewish World Service, a founding member of the Jewish Emergent Network, and serves on the faculty of the Reboot Network. In 2016 The Forward named him one of the thirty-two “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in America, and in 2017 he was top five on “The Forward 50,” their annual list of the most influential and accomplished Jews in America.
Rabbi Or Rose is the founding director of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College. He is the co-editor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from Around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights), My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis), and Words To Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement (Orbis).
Thanks to the Henry Luce Foundation for its ongoing support of PsalmSeason.
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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.