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Center for Action and Contemplation
A black and white image of Barbara Holmes smiling.
CORE Faculty

Barbara Holmes

A scholar of African American spirituality and mysticism, Dr. Barbara Holmes reveals how the cosmos can expand our limited constructs of religion, race, and power. As faculty at the Center for Action and Contemplation, she teaches how God’s communal presence can inspire imagination and wisdom, especially in times of crisis. She is the author of Race and the Cosmos , Joy Unspeakable and Crisis Contemplation.

essential reading

Crisis Contemplation Mercifully Emerges

Dr. Barbara Holmes believes contemplative experience can emerge in times of collective crisis. She invites us to understand how crisis is experienced at the communal, tribal, national, and global levels. 

Stack of Crisis Contemplation books

Daily Meditations

The Jazz Gospel 

The Jazz Gospel 

Jazz helps us be sensitive to the whole range of existence. Far from offering us rose-colored glasses … it realistically speaks of sorrow and pain…. Jazz stimulates us to feel…


Futurism and Cosmic Rebirth

Futurism and Cosmic Rebirth

Envision a future brimming with peace, joy, and creativity. What does that look like for you? In the final episode of “The Cosmic We” season 4, Dr. Barbara Holmes and Dr….

Daily Meditations

Wisdom from Barbara Holmes

Read Daily Meditations inspired by the words of Barbara Holmes.

“The world is the cloister of the contemplative. There is no escape. Always the quest for justice draws one deeply into the heart of God.”

– Dr. Barbara Holmes

An illustration of two hands holding a small trout just beneath the waterline as a hooked bobber hangs to the right.

A Story From Barbara

Fishing—my contemplative practice—is the place where I find real connection. I fish with my husband, George. Normally we throw them back, but occasionally bless them for nourishment. We don’t talk a lot. We connect in other ways—through the ocean, the waves, the birds diving, and the struggle. God’s grace has been to live, to breathe salt air, and to just be. 

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