(Bonus Episode!) Dr. Barbara Holmes from 2016 in Celebration of the Revised Edition of Her Book, Joy Unspeakable

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

Dr. 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


  • How does the word ‘contemplative’ relate to you, your work or your community?
  • Can you share any stories of your own contemplative lineage?
  • Story about a Western African practice of meeting with ancestors at the bottom of the river
  • What would Christianity regain from owning that the Desert Fathers and Mothers were Africans?
  • What contemplative practices do you feel most connected to?
  • Are younger people reclaiming their cultures of origin?
  • How do you imagine future generations of church communities will reconcile the sacred and the secular?
  • What young contemplatives leaders do you see?
  • Hope for the future and the contemplative aspects of Black Lives Matter
  • Have you always lived courageously and to the beat of your own drummer?
  • What projects are on the horizon for you?
  • Drink Recommendation

Photo credit: Death To Stock Photo

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