Barbara Holmes — Center for Action and Contemplation

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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 and Joy Unspeakable.

essential reading

Crisis Contemplation: Healing the Wounded Village

How has your story been affected by collective experiences of love and suffering? In Crisis Contemplation, African American mystical scholar Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes examines crisis and community as entry points into contemplation. Dr. Holmes uses her prophetic vision and poetic prose to examine how crisis contemplation manifests itself in BIPOC communities and communities of color.

The Cosmic We

The Cosmic We

In The Cosmic We, Barbara Holmes and cohost Pastor Donny Bryant guide listeners in a study of self and cosmos in conversation with cosmologists, scholars, and artists.

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. 

“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

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