New Podcast: Contemplating Now

NEW PODCAST ALERT 🚨

I’m Very excited to begin bringing you conversations with scholars, mystics, and activists, as we explore the undeniable intersection of contemplation + social justice.

Contemplation has been a part of my life since I was a child taking long walks to pause and process. In 2011, after reading Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation, I quit my job and traveled to all 17 Trappist monasteries in the United States. But as I journeyed, I sensed there was something lacking. As a Queer white woman, it took me an embarrassingly long time to recognize what was missing: voices and truths beyond white, male contemplatives like Merton, Rohr, and Keating. Voices speaking into the work of justice and liberation, while also hosting a contemplative interior life that fed their activism. Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Holmes speaks of  “public mystics,” leaders whose “interiority and communal reference points” must intersect, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, Sue and Howard Thurman, Rosa Parks, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and more. 

Since 2017 I’ve co-hosted the Encountering Silence podcast with my colleagues Carl McColman and Kevin Johnson. Through 100 episodes of interviews and discussions about the importance of silence, I  continued to be drawn to the contemplative lives of Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Queer, Womanist, disabled, and other marginalized people and groups. Now in seminary,  I continue to see the ways a white-washed, patriarchal contemplative Christianity hinders collective liberation and justice. Instead, I want to try to  step into the wholeness of contemplation, which consists of “both inward solitude and reflection, and outward response to the situations in which we find ourselves present and awake” (Therese Taylor-Stinson). 

Contemplating Now was birthed from my own contemplative practice, research, deconstruction, and desire to learn from those who embody the fullness of contemplation by way of reflection and action. 

How to find it and more info:

Find it on all podcasting platforms, and if you’re so inclined, leave a review to help other folks find it more easily.

The Christian Century (progressive Christian magazine based in Chicago, the “journal of record” for mainline protestants, the first to publish “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in 1963), will be hosting the podcast on their site.

This labor of love project is created, produced, and edited by me. With no funding or financial support for the project, I hope you’ll consider helping keep the work afloat by joining me over on Patreon.com/cassidyhall

I’m also delighted to have support in the form of loving-kindness from my friends over at enfleshed, an org which offers liturgical resources focused on collective liberation. Thanks also to the brilliance and eagle-eyed editor Jessica Mesman.

Finally, I am so very grateful to EmmoLei Sankofa for her delightful music in the opening and closing credits, and a perfect logo from my pal, Patrick Shen.

Published by Cassidy Hall

Cassidy Hall (MA) is an author, filmmaker, podcaster, student, and holds a MA in Counseling. She works as a Teaching Assistant at Christian Theological Seminary where she is studying for her MDiv and MTS degrees. She also serves as Student Pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ. Since 2017, Cassidy has been the Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society. Cassidy worked on the production team of the documentary feature film In Pursuit of Silence and her directorial debut short-film, Day of a Stranger paints an intimate portrait of Thomas Merton’s hermitage years. Her podcast, Encountering Silence features interviews with contemplatives, modern-day mystics, and explores the ambiguity of silence in our modern-day lives. Cassidy’s work centers around the tension and intersection of silence and social action and contemplation in a world of action.

One thought on “New Podcast: Contemplating Now

  1. Thanks Cassidy! I look forward to hearing what you and your guests have to offer! I hear you about the challenge of seminary. Some things have improved between my MDiv in the mid-80’s and now during my DMin studies. There is, however, a long way to go! Keep the faith!

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