Unraveling Religion’s Visionary Landscape of Humanity’s Potential, A Conversation With Chris Barbera
August 27, 2023
Dusted off as one of Unraveling Religion’s original episodes back in 2008, Activist and Poet Chris Barbera joins Joel for a talk exploring the landscape of our collective sorrows and how to address them.
The terrain covers the root response to suffering found in exploring spirituality. The question of ‘work’ and how work is defined was answered. Chris begins with his own expressed spiritual development and biography, culminating with a deep awakening in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The realization placed for Chris the understanding of the inequality of systems of power against many of its marginalized citizens, mainly due to the drive to consume and commoditize, an unexamined priorities, in our nation and world.
These power structures have sought to accumulate wealth and power, and in the talk Chris and Joel also explore the validities of all the world’s religions. Chris came to realize G-d is not an idea but a living Reality. Through the talk, Chris and Joel discuss how these systems criminalize the poor. Also examined were ways to alleviate suffering, guided by various spiritual doctrines, and searching ‘where does G-d fit into all of this?’ The differences of science and religion, and how the ancient cultures made no distinction between the two.
A profound examination of humankind’s direction, hope, and potential outcome.
Biography of Chris Barbera:
Chris Barbera has lived in the backs of empty churches and intentional communities and worked on various social justice movements and has, for many years, administered an educational nonprofit, Jesus the Liberator Seminary of Religious Justice, which focuses upon developing a “Prison Theology” with people incarcerated. He currently lives intentionally at the interfaith nonprofit, Network of Religious Communities. In short, he has lived and worked with poor people at the intersection of grassroots justice movements, spiritually lived ideas and experiences in relation with institutional structures, traditions, and nonprofit efforts, as well as at the intersection of poetry and theology. All is all in all rooted and wind.