These sessions will present anti-racism as a spiritual practice by weaving together personal storytelling, historical study, and wisdom teachings. We will bring in diverse guests to learn from their experiences and expertise.
The first portion will be devoted to listening, the second portion will be devoted to internalizing. As Ibram Kendi says in Becoming an Anti-Racist, these two ways of engaging are central to anti-racist practice. Sikh Religious Life Adviser, Simran Jeet Singh, will open by facilitating an intimate conversation with a leader in the space on their own experiences with becoming conscious of race (personal), particular aspectz of how racism manifests itself in our world (knowledge), and what we all can do about it (practical). We will then move into interactive Q&A. At the close of the hour, we will engage with the material to personalize it in various, interactive ways: reflection exercises, pairing and sharing, small group discussions, close readings. We will mold our exercises each week to fit the subject matter for each session.
Our October 29th conversation will feature Anand Venkatkrishnan. Ananad is an intellectual historian of religion in South Asia. His book in progress, Love in the Time of Scholarship: The Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Indian Intellectual History, examines the relationship of bhakti, religion as lived affect, with philosophy as intellectual practice. It shows how Sanskrit scholars in early modern India allowed personal religious commitments to feature in and reshape their scholastic writing, a genre that was generally impervious to everyday life. It also demonstrates how vernacular ways of knowing pushed through the glass ceiling of Sanskrit intellectuality. Anand's second project, titled Left-Hand Practice, concerns a group of loosely affiliated religious intellectuals in the 20th century who had significant ties with the Indian political left.