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Spiritual Discourse in the Academy

A Globalized Indigenous Perspective

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Edited By Njoki Nathani Wane, Francis Akena Adyanga and Ahmed Ali Ilmi

Spiritual Discourse in the Academy focuses on the value of spirituality as a subjugated knowledge from globalized contexts. The book's central tenet is that spirituality is the core of one's intellectual growth and that its inclusion in education acknowledges the sum total of who we are. It not only offers strategies for transformative education, but also embraces global diversity and inclusive education for the twenty-first century.
The book also provides a detailed examination of spirituality from a global context, acknowledges the detrimental legacies of colonialism on indigenous spirituality, knowledge systems, traditional justice systems, and on indigenous peoples. Spiritual Discourse in the Academy reaches out to educators, scholars, and students who are interested in the multiple roles of spirituality in schooling and society at large. It can be used for teaching courses in spirituality, education, religious studies, and cultural studies.
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Chapter Nine: Spirituality and a Mad People’s Commons

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   CHAPTER NINE

Spirituality and a Mad People’s Commons

ERICK FABRIS

INTRODUCTION

Spirituality seems to me a way of wondering about unknowns. It allows me to move from memories to conversations, from what is known to what is not. What brings these two into relation, the known and the unknown? This narrative inquiry suggests nature, especially as remembered from my childhood, and in a dream I lived that was labelled psychotic. This is what conditions my known and unknown. As a person conceived ‘mad’ and labelled ‘mentally ill,’ I recognize nature from my earliest memories, a place I loved. And as a Mad activist who wishes to connect with other activists, I follow Indigenous knowledges that link the land with imagination, place with memory, and for me this grounds a politics of people and cultures. Spirit pushes me to understand people nurtured by this land whose collectives and livelihoods depend on it. So as a White settler, I try to use my privilege by decolonizing my relationship to the land, and this helps me de-psychologize my memory. What I presently find helpful in doing this is the concept of the commons, a tradition that may provide for respecting nature and people in physical and emotional need. That shared space reminds me of how psychiatric detainees on locked wards who were being drugged while emotionally distraught would sometimes help one another despite their differences. Sometimes they would also give each other space. So...

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