016: The Other is Us: Connecting to Knowledge, Wisdom and One Another with Barbara A. Holmes

The Other is Us: Connecting to Knowledge, Wisdom and One Another with Barbara A. Holmes

Barbara Holmes served as president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, as well as professor of ethics and African American religious studies. She was ordained in the Latter Rain Apostolic Holiness Church in Dallas, Texas, and has privilege of call in the United Church of Christ and recognition of ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In addition to her work with law firms, Holmes has worked with homeless missions, HIV/AIDS ministries, and international ministries in Kenya (the Presbyterian Church of East Africa) and Japan. The author of five books and numerous articles, her most recent publications include: Dreaming (Fortress Press, 2012), Liberation and the Cosmos: Conversations with the Elders (Fortress Press, 2008), and Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church (Augsburg Fortress, 2004). Holmes earned an MS from Southern Connecticut University, an MDiv from Columbia Theological Seminary, a PhD from Vanderbilt University, and a JD from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. (adapted from The Association of Theological Schools’ website)

In this episode, Barbara shares about her own contemplative lineage, reflections on the contemplative aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement, the contemplative and social impact of Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce,  and her sense of hope in the next generation.

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Recent Books by Barbara A. Holmes

Resources Mentioned


  • President Obama
  • Brian Swimme
  • Howard Thurman
  • Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
  • Henry Louis Gates
  • AJ Jacobs
  • Thomas Merton
  • Martin Luther King
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Beyonce
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Kirk Whalum
  • Tupac Shakur

Contemplative Practices (20m20s)

  • Music and African Masked Stilt Dancers

Drinks Pairings

  • Sparkling Coconut Lemon Water


2m30s How does the word ‘contemplative’ relate to you, your work or your community?

5m45s Can you share any stories of your own contemplative lineage?

9m15s Story about a Western African practice of meeting with ancestors at the bottom of the river

14m What would Christianity regain from owning that the Desert Fathers and Mothers were Africans?

20m20s What contemplative practices do you feel most connected to?

25m40s Are younger people reclaiming their cultures of origin?

36m24 How do you imagine future generations of church communities will reconcile the sacred and the secular?

42m30s What young contemplatives leaders do you see?

45m Hope for the future and the contemplative aspects of Black Lives Matter

51m15s Have you always lived courageously and to the beat of your own drummer?

54m45s What projects are on the horizon for you?

56m10s Drink Recommendation

Photo credit: Death To Stock Photo