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.
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 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
Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 12 noon - 4 pm
Center for the Study of World Religions
42 Francis Avenue - Cambridge, MA
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.
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.