Universal Burdens : Stories of (Un)Freedom from the Unitarian Universalist Association, The MOVE Organization, and Taqwacore

Detta är en avhandling från Lund University

Sammanfattning: Popular Abstract in English Universal Burdens There are Zen students who are in chains when they go to a teacher, and the teacher adds another chain. The students are delighted, unable to discern one thing from another. This is called 'a guest looking at a guest.' -Linji What do Zen master Linji, Muslim scholar ‘Abbād ibn Sulaymān, and Comanche thinker Parra-Wa-Samen have in common? Among many other things, they share the fact that they are all excluded from the reigning conversations within academia about what “freedom” is, how it can be understood, and how it ought to be applied in the world. They share that place of exclusion with the vast majority of the world. The sword of colonialism continues to strike today from the oil fields of the Middle East to the literature on our shelves. This dissertation aims to begin a conversation about that exclusion and how we might begin to undo some of the massive violence that much of the world is subject to every day. To these ends, this study examines some of the central texts and practices within three contemporary contexts in the United States (the Unitarian Universalist Association, the MOVE Organization, and taqwacore) and shares some ideas, concerns, and stories from those contexts in order to imagine what inclusive conversations about "freedom" might look like. Transcending the false binary between "freedom" and "unfreedom," the term (un)freedom is used to frame conversations that both clarify what is actually being discussed and also welcome voices from traditions and peoples that have previously been excluded. The burdens will always be heavy, The sunshine fade into night, Till mercy and justice shall cement The black, the brown and the white. -Frances Ellen Watkins Harper