Dr. Stephen C. Finley on African American embodiment, spirituality, esotericism and UFO traditions, featuring David Leo Rice

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Dr. Finley is a Religious Studies Professor at Louisiana State University and has been studying African American religious thought, and spirituality. His research expands upon these themes with an emphasis on esotericism, non-material consciousness, African American embodiment and the role of the UFO narrative in the Nation of Islam.

In this conversation we get into rethinking and restructuring how we conceive of America and its relation to African American spirituality and notions of transcendence. We also explore traumatic mysticism, African American UFO traditions and their relationship to the Nation of Islam, the origins of black embodiment, the irony of institutionalized diversity, blackness as a portal to the universal, Louis Farrakhan’s encounter with the Mother Wheel, mystical experiences that transcend white supremacy and anti-blackness, black narratives being at the center of consciousness, the expansion of consciousness during an abduction experience, familiarity with the transcendent other, and transcendent blackness as a key locus of American religion and spirituality.

Stephen Finley received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Rice University in 2009 shortly after joining the faculty at LSU in 2008. He has a joint appointment to the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Program in African & African American Studies.

Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius

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