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Lectures in Religion 2021: Kaveh Akbar
The Word Dropped Like A Stone: Sacred Poetics Under the Reign of the Money God

Today the great weapon used to stifle critical thinking is a raw overwhelm of meaningless language at every turn—on our phones, on our TV’s, in our periphery on billboards and subways. So often the language is passionately absolute: immigrants are evil, climate change is a hoax, and this new Rolex will make you irresistible. Interesting poetry awakens us, asks us to slow down our metabolization of language, to become aware of its materiality, how it enters into us. Sacred poetry, from antiquity to the present, teaches us to be comfortable sitting in mystery without trying to resolve it, to be skeptical of unqualified certitudes. In reminding us that language has history, density, complexity, such poetry becomes a potent antidote against an empire that would use empty, vapid language to cudgel us into inaction.

Sep 29, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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