Presentation by Pegi Eyers at Harvard Divinity School
Uses and Abuses of Power in Alternative Spiritualities
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The theme for the spring 2023 conference hosted by Harvard Divinity School’s Program for the Evolution of Spirituality was the Uses and Abuses of Power in Alternative Spiritualities. With over 100 exciting speakers, panelists, workshops and keynotes, the conference included a presentation by Pegi Eyers entitled [Un]Conscious Colonialism: Why is Native Spirituality a Pagan Genre? Three days of panels and workshops were devoted to the theme, and other aspects of alternative spirituality were offered. The conference explored a two-fold reality: alternative spiritualities can be enormously empowering for people who participate in them, but they can also be sites of deeply harmful abuses of power. Sessions explored both sides of this reality, and fostered open-hearted dialogue between those who benefited from alternative spiritualities, and those who experienced significant harm. For the purposes of the conference, “alternative spiritualities” were broadly defined in keeping with the Program for the Evolution of Spirituality’s mission to support the scholarly study of emerging spiritual movements, marginalized spiritualities, and the innovative edges of established religious traditions.
>Harvard Divinity School<
>Harvard Divinity School<
[Un]Conscious Colonialism: Why is Native Spirituality a Pagan Genre?
Entrenched definitions and genres are incredibly hard to dismantle, even those created in the early days of modern Pagan and New Age modalities. And yet what if those original definitions were blind spots rooted in an [un]conscious colonialism? Found within Pagan and New Age spaces for decades now, the subgenre of “Native Spirituality” has been a convenience directed entirely by white people. In today’s hopeful climate of Turtle Island First Nations resurgence and healing, and in alignment with anti-racism, social justice and uncolonization efforts everywhere, the interrogation of the “Native Spirituality” subgenre is long overdue. Led by a white anti-racism educator and scholar-practitioner of the ancestral arts, [Un]Conscious Colonialism – Why is ‘Native Spirituality a Pagan Genre? will conclude with a loving encouragement to examine the harm in our spiritual practice(s) and make change. Today, examining our white privilege and challenging racism, have become positive aspects of a holistic spirituality.
Pegi Eyers is the author of "Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community" an award-winning book that explores strategies for uncolonization, recovering an ecocentric worldview, rewilding, creating a sustainable future and reclaiming peaceful co-existence in Earth Community.
Available from Stone Circle Press or Amazon.