Black Lives Matter

Every core part of my identity that I love and treasure has a history of oppression that comes with it. I am African-American. I am a woman. I am in a same gender loving relationship. And I am a practitioner of an indigenous African spiritual tradition. I live at the intersections of all these realities. […]

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Current Articles

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#WeCantBreathe and Advent

On Sunday, December 7, there was a message preached at the Memorial Church of Harvard University. It was an urgent and powerful call, and it affected each person who walked out of that morning worship service. But I’m not talking about the sermon. While Professor Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister […]

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Advent wreath

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: Advent and Waiting, Part 2

We are immersed in Advent now – most American Christians have trees strung with lights, bedecked with baubles and handmade ornaments, and perhaps even an early wrapped present or two hiding beneath the lowest boughs. Advent calendars – with little morsels of chocolate hidden behind paper doors – retell the story of Mary and Joseph […]

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More Than Just the Baby in the Manger

Sometimes the timing of things does make me believe in alignments of stars or planets or fate, in a terrible kind of way. I wake up this morning to the news of the attack on the Peshawar school in Pakistan, where an attack has left—at latest count—145 dead, many of them children. I scroll through […]

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Obama Administration Renews Lease on Racial Profiling

Originally Published in TIME.com On Monday, the Obama Administration unveiled updated guidance on how federal law enforcement should address racial profiling. Rather than discarding the ineffective practice, the new guidance issued by the Department of Justice gives profiling a new lease on life. The new guidance opens by saying that profiling is wrong, yet proceeds […]

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An Interview with Dr. Eboo Patel at the American Academy of Religion

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my heroes, the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core Dr. Eboo Patel, at the American Academy of Religion’s National Meeting in San Diego, California. In the interview, I wanted to focus on five key aspects of the national interfaith youth movement: religion in the media, the emerging […]

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"Advent"
Copyright Tramani Sagrens. Used by permission under creative commons license

People Look East: Advent and Waiting Part 1

I come from a tradition in which waiting and anticipation are part of our worship calendar. As a Christian, I have entered the season of Advent – which literally means “coming” or “arriving.” This four-week season which culminates with the celebration of the birth of Jesus is a season in which many Christians prepare and […]

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A mediation complex perched on the side of the mountain in Limi Valley, western Nepa. Source: Chris Crews (Attribution via: www.chriscrews.com)

A Landscape of Lived Religion in Nepal

This is the first in a multi-part series discussing sacred landscapes and religion in the Himalaya I recently returned from a month of fieldwork and research in Humla, the northwestern district of Nepal bordering Tibet and India. I was there as part of a research initiative focused on the concept of sacred landscapes in the […]

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About State of Formation

State of Formation, founded as an offshoot of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies (JIRS), is a program of CIRCLE, The Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School.

Andover Newton Theological Seminary Hebrew College

Inter-Religious Studies