Abolition can be a spiritual practice, a spiritual journey, and a spiritual commitment. What does abolition entail and how can we get there as a collective and improvisational project?

 

To posit the spirituality of abolition is to consider the ways historical and contemporary movements against slavery; prisons; the wage system; animal and earth exploitation; racialized, gendered, and sexualized violence; and the death penalty necessitate epistemologies that have been foreclosed through violent force by Western philosophical and theological thought. It is also to claim that the material conditions that will produce abolition are necessarily Black, Indigenous, queer and trans, feminist, and also about disabled and other non-conforming bodies in force and verve.

 

Spirituality and Abolition asks: what can prison abolition teach us about spiritual practice, spiritual journey, spiritual commitment? And, what can these things underscore about the struggle for abolition as a desired manifestation of material change in the worlds we currently inhabit? Collecting writings, poetry, and art from thinkers, organizers, and incarcerated people, the editors trace the importance of faith and spirit in our ongoing struggle towards abolitionist horizons.

 

**Copies of the book available as door prizes for attendees!

 

Book launch panel discussion with

 

Peter Kline (Contributor) is the Academic Dean and Lecturer in Systematic Theology at St Francis College, University of Divinity. He is the author of Passion for Nothing: Kierkegaard’s Apophatic Theology (Fortress Press, 2017)

 

Andrew Krinks (Contributor) Andrew Krinks is an educator, writer, scholar, and movement builder working at the intersections of racial justice, religion, criminalization, and abolition in Nashville, Tennessee. He teaches college and seminary courses on theology, ministry, social justice, carcerality, and abolition, and conducts participatory action research on the impacts of prisons and policing. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Initiative for Race Research and Justice at Vanderbilt University. His book White Property, Black Trespass: The Religion of Mass Criminalization will be published by New York University Press in 2024. He organizes with the Nashville People’s Budget Coalition for a world of abundance and safety beyond cops, courts, and cages.

 

Rae Leiner is a Black identified multi-racial Queer organizer, activist, and parent residing in the Hudson Valley. Rae’s professional trajectory is primarily focused on social justice and movements for transformative change. Rae is currently the cofounder and Co-Director of the Newburgh LGBTQ+ center, former director of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative in the city of Newburgh and a former Community Voices Heard organizer in Orange County. Rae brings fifteen-plus years of professional experience in the not-for-profit field and social justice work. An experienced facilitator and organizer, a strategic thinker, embodied practitioner, relationship builder, Rae’s creative thinking and radical dreaming help to inform their analysis and work towards an equitable society.

 

Jasmine Syedullah (Contributor) is a black feminist theorist of abolitionist movement scholarship as well as coauthor of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation (North Atlantic Books, 2016). She joined the faculty of Vassar College in 2019 and holds Africana Studies’ first Assistant Professor line there. In addition to teaching, she advises the development of Prison Studies curriculum and programming. Her current book project centers the truant emancipation and timecraft of Harriet Jacobs’s 1861 abolitionist narrative as a protofeminist foundation for critical carceral race and gender studies.

 

Jared Ware (Contributor) is a cohost and producer of the podcast Millennials Are Killing Capitalism, which covers revolutionary history, social movements, and political theory. He was a member of the media relations team for the 2018 National Prison Strike. He is also a freelance journalist covering prisoner movements and abolitionist struggles.

 

Respondents

Elyse Ambrose (Religious Studies, Dept of Black Study)

Jazmin Garcia (PhD student in Ethnic Studies, Underground Scholars, Community Action Teams (CAT)-911)

 

Introduced by 

Dylan Rodriguez (Media & Cultural Studies, Center for Ideas and Society)

 

Moderated by

Malav Kanuga (Common Notions Press)


Sponsored by the Decolonizing Humanism(?) Initiative at the Center for Ideas and Society

Event Details

  • R. Sriracha
  • Jazmin Garcia
  • Queydin Nunez

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