The African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association (ADRSA) presents its second day-long conference on the theme Love Supreme: Devotion, Intimacy, and Ecstasy in African and Diasporic Religions. “Devotion,” “marriage,” and other intimate relational language is often used to characterize the relationships between adherents of African and Diasporic Religions and the universal energies with which they interact during worship. Practitioners of these traditions most frequently refer to themselves as “devotees” – in contrast to the designation “believers” used in other traditions – and through initiations, spiritual weddings, possessions, and other means, they form profound personal bonds with the spirits and with each other. This conference will explore these bonds.

Keynote Speaker

Sobonfu Somé

A native of Burkina Faso, Somé is a Dagara elder and is one of the foremost voices in African spirituality. She is the author of three books, including Falling Out of Grace: What We Learn from Life’s Challenges and The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships. Of her work, Somé says: “My work is really a journey in self-discovery and in building community through rituals.” To this end, she hosts community rituals and workshops throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Africa.

Opening Plenary Speaker

Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid is a world renowned writer of novels, essays, short stories, gardening and children's literature. Born in Antigua, Kincaid's writings reflect real-life themes, drawing often on her own experiences and reflections as a woman of African descent.   

African and Diasporic Religions
Film Festival
Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 12 noon - 4 pm

Center for the Study of World Religions
42 Francis Avenue - Cambridge, MA
12 noon
It's Been Poetry

Documentary on the life and legacy of Oba Oseijeman Efuntola Adefunmi I, the founder and first king of Oyotunji Village in Sheldon, SC. The film features rare footage, photos, and interviews with some of the village founders and explores the village's connections to Black Nationalism and the revival of African religions in the US.
1:30 pm
Ancestral Voices:
Esoteric African Knowledge

An educational documentary spanning two continents, opening up a much-needed debate about traditional African spiritual systems; their cosmologies, ideologies and underlying ethical principles.

Through video interviews, a range of individuals of different faiths in the United Kingdom share their experiences, knowledge and perceptions of these systems in relation to other established religions and mainstream media coverage of them.

Traditional shaman from the Greater Accra, Eastern and Ashanti regions in Ghana, West Africa, are also interviewed to provide authentic accounts of their cosmologies, practices and esoteric spiritual systems.

Travel to Boston

The nearest airport is Boston Logan International (BOS) and Boston is easily accessible via ground transportation from many nearby cities including New York, Newark, NJ and Hartford, CT  via:

Bolt Bus
Peter Pan

Lodging in Boston

Connect with local people renting rooms or entire apartments. The most economical way to stay close to campus

Best Western Hotel Tria
Approximately 10 minutes from the venue by free shuttle

40 Berkley Street Hostel
Approximately 20 minutes from venue by public transportation, 10 minutes by car/taxi

Hostelling International Boston Approximately 30 minutes from venue by public transportation, 15 minutes by car/taxi

Super 8 Motel - Watertown
Approximately 25 minutes from venue by public transportation, 10 minutes by car/taxi

La Quinta Inn & Suites Boston & Somerville
Approximately 15 minutes from venue by car/taxi

Buckminster Hotel
Approximately 30 minutes from venue by public transportation, 15 minutes by car/taxi

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