by Ashon Crawley and Roberto Sirvent, Edited by Abolition Collective
Abolition can be a spiritual practice, a spiritual journey, and a spiritual commitment. What does abolition mean and how can we get there as a collective and improvisational project?
To posit the spirituality of abolition, is to consider the ways historical and contemporary movements against slavery, prisons, the wage system, animal and earth exploitation, racialized, gendered, and sexualized violence, and the death penalty necessitate epistemologies that have been foreclosed through violent force by Western thought of philosophical and theological kinds. It is also to claim that the material conditions that will produce abolition are necessarily Black, Indigenous, queer and trans, feminist, and also about disabled and other non-conforming bodies in force and verve.
Abolition and Spirituality asks what can prison abolition teach us about spiritual practice, spiritual journey, spiritual commitment? And, what can these things underscore about the struggle for abolition as a desired manifestation of material change in worlds we inhabit currently? Collecting writings, poetry, and art from thinkers, organizers, and incarcerated people the editors trace the importance of faith and spirit in our ongoing struggle towards abolitionist horizons.
“Spirituality and Abolition is an invaluable collective contribution to thinking abolitionist theology and spiritual praxis, an open invitation to an abolitionist struggle being waged in the earthly and also the immaterial and spiritual realm, demystifying the ways in which colonialism and anti-Blackness shape carceral religiosity and also calling forth and evoking liberationist models of spirituality. Activists, spiritual workers, clergy, and academics in religious and Black and Indigenous and feminist, queer and trans studies as well will greatly benefit from this indispensable anthology.” — Che Gosset, Racial Justice Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia Law School and Visiting Fellow, Animal Law and Policy Center, Harvard Law School
About the Contributors:
Ashon Crawley is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Professor Crawley works in the areas of black studies, queer theory, sound studies, theology, continental philosophy, and performance studies. He is the author of the Lammy award-winning book, The Lonely Letters and Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility.
Roberto Sirvent is an educator interested in race, law, and social movements who has taught at Hope International University, Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont School of Theology, and Yale’s Summer Bioethics Institute. He is Coordinator of Outreach and Mentoring for the Political Theology Network and currently serves as Associate Editor of the Political Theology journal. With Linn Tonstad, he edits the Political Theology Undisciplined book series for Duke University Press. He is coauthor (with Danny Haiphong) of the book, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.
(Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics) is a collectively-run project supporting radical scholarly and activist ideas, poetry, and art, publishing and disseminating work that encourages us to make the impossible possible, to seek transformation well beyond policy changes and toward revolutionary abolitionism.