Grounded in themes of tribulation, redemption, and hope, ISM Fellow and theater professor Dr. Ron Jenkins joins Ariana Hones (M.Div. ’23) in conversation on the transformational power of Dante’s Divine Comedies inside prisons. In this episode, Dr. Jenkins discusses his course, Gospel, Rap, and Social Justice, and his use of Dante’s poetry to create theater pieces with currently and formerly incarcerated people. He states, “bringing Dante and art into prison is a way of humanizing a dehumanizing situation.” Dante serves as both a mirror reflecting the injustices in our prison systems as well as a catalyst for freedom.
In his interview with ISM M.A.R. student Madeleine Hutchins ’23, ISM Fellow and religious ethicist Ryan Darr pulls no punches in talking global climate crisis: “…we’re entering a mass extinction event, which would be, from what scientists have found about life on Earth, the sixth in Earth’s history — and the first caused by one species in particular.” Darr is a Postdoctoral Associate in Religion, Ecology, and Expressive Culture, and from 2019 to 2022 was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Philosophy and Religion at the Princeton University Center for Human Values. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University.
ISM fellow and composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen explores his latest composition fusing gospel text, pan-African sound, and the passion tradition. He also chats about his earlier operatic work that engages the sounds and figures of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle.