CBD 2023: Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me with The Very Rev. Michael Battle, PhD

October 30, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Westerners may find Ubuntu—an African concept of personhood— a strange word with perhaps an even stranger meaning. Emphasizing the communal and contemplative dimension of human identity, the concept of Ubuntu (pronounced oo-BOON-too) of necessity poses a challenge to persons accustomed to thinking of themselves as individuals. Contemplate a fish trying to understand what it means to be wet, when all it has ever known is life in the water. Or imagine the desperation of an earthling landing on Mars without an oxygen. As contemplative mystics teach us, becoming conscious of what we take for granted can be a strange, and even painful experience. Yet the winds of change that greet us as we wade into the twenty-first century guarantee that Westerners will encounter non-Western assumptions about what it means to be human. Westerners must learn from those who are different from us that the interconnection of identity is not only personal. To be spiritual, communal, and global are now inescapable realities.

This session is  the first of a two part series taught by The Very Rev. Michael Battle, PhD. The second part is a guided meditation session on Oct. 31 titled, iPause Guided practice #10, Practicing Ubuntu, The Very Rev. Michael Battle, PhD. Summit attendees are welcome to register for one or both of these sessions. 

The Very Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D., founder of the Peace Battle Institute, was given one of the highest Anglican Church distinctions as “Six Preacher,” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. A distinction given to only a few who demonstrate great dedication to the church that goes back to 16th century England and Thomas Cranmer. Battle has published eleven books, including his latest: Desmond Tutu: A Spiritual Biography of South Africa’s Confessor. Battle is a highly sought after speaker, teacher, theologian, Anglican/Episcopal priest and peacemaker.  In his Peace Battle Institute he works on subjects of diversity, spirituality, prayer, race and reconciliation. In addition, Battle has served as vice president to the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun Gandhi’s Institute for Nonviolence. Battle and his wife, Raquel, were married by Archbishop Tutu and are parents to two daughters, Sage and Bliss, and a son, Zion. All of whom were baptized by Archbishop Tutu as well.

Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me with The Very Rev. Michael Battle, PhD is part of the free Contemplation by Design Summit, Oct. 24- Nov. 2, 2023.

The full Summit schedule is posted at: http://contemplation.stanford.edu/summit. All events are FREE and online.

Registration opens September 12, 2023