Race and the Cosmos (2nd Edition), by Barbara Holmes

Race and the Cosmos


A theology worthy of God presumes a universe worthy of God—Holmes offers us both!
–Richard Rohr

What does it mean to be a cosmic being, a creature of divine light and welcoming darkness, an integral part of a universe that is rife with mystery and potential? This powerful embodiment cannot be constrained by social categories of racism, xenophobia, or sexual and gender bias. As we continue the struggle for justice, the universe invites us toward expanded options.

In Race and the Cosmos, Barbara Holmes boldly suggests that theoretical physics and cosmology have the power to break through our stalled and difficult discussions about race. At the intersection of ethics, cosmology, and physics, a new view of human life is emerging—a view not neatly divided along lines of race, ethnicity, class, or sexual orientation. Human life at cosmic and quantum levels has a unity independent of external social categories such as science and religion. The ways that modern culture defines us can no longer provide spiritual connections, Holmes says. Quantum and cosmic metaphors about self, society, and God point to origins, mysteries, and ultimate things. The worlds of cosmology and quantum mechanics offer us the resonance and rhetoric of a multi-dimensional universe and give us new ways to talk about the individual and communal quest for moral fulfillment. The language of cosmology can replace older ways of thinking and talking about race and ethnicity. This new language unifies rather than divides, in a cosmic universe that is both staggering and healing in its human/divine scope.

Barbara A. Holmes is a core faculty member of the Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation, a spiritual teacher, activist, and scholar focused on African American spirituality, mysticism, cosmology and culture. She is a faculty member President Emerita of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (2012-2016) and served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Memphis Theological Seminary (2005-2010). She A Master of Science in Education from Southern Connecticut University; a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion (Ethics) from Vanderbilt. Her other books include Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church (Fortress Press, 2017 & 2004), Liberation and the Cosmos (Fortress Press, 2008), and A Private Woman in Public Spaces: Barbara Jordan’s Speeches on Ethics, Public Religion, and Law (Trinity Press International, 2000). In addition to her books, Dr. Holmes has published numerous articles and is a nationally sought-after speaker and lecturer.


Race and the Cosmos, Second Edition
Publication Date: February 2020
ISBN: 978-1-62305-050-4
Soft cover, 240 pages