Naropa University Oakland

Master of Liberal Arts Program in Creation Spirituality


CSP 627          Number of Credit Units: 1

Instructors: Matthew Fox, Rev. Dorsey Blake                                                                                                   

Class Schedule: 5 Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m.  March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27

Course Description:  Creation Spirituality themes and the Four Paths found in the rich literature of the African-American Diaspora will be explored. Included in this study are the works of such writers as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and others.  Their works will be examined, as well as art, music, theater and social commentary, for reflections of African beliefs and the creation tradition.

Course Objectives:

1.   To identify common themes and paths between CS and black thinkers and activists

2.   To develop an appreciation of their historical connections

3.   To explore their potential to illuminate the future


Course Requirements

1.      Attendance and class participation  ……………………..…50%

(One absence for serious reason allowed otherwise student does

not receive credit)

2.      Weekly readings……………………………………………25%



3.      Weekly one-page papers based on the readings……………25%


Syllabus and Readings:  The assignment each week will be to read the readings assigned (sometimes there are optional choices) and write a one-page response to the reading and come to class alive and ready to participate in lively discussion.


March 30: article by Matthew Fox, “Howard Thurman: A Creation-Centered Mystic from the

African-American Tradition.”  (available in xeroxed copy; also found in Matthew Fox, Wrestling

with the Prophets, pp. 145-153.

April 6: Dona Marimba Richards, Let the Circle Be Unbroken: The Implications of African

Spirituality in the Diaspora (Lawrenceville NJ: The Red Sea Press, 1994).  Xeroxed copies

available at Naropa Oakland.

April 13: W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (New York: Penguin, 1996).

April 20: Read any 3 of the following 5 writers (Xeroxed copies of these essays or poems available at

Naropa Oakland): Langston Hughes; Alice Walker; bell hooks; Toni Morrison; James Baldwin, Blues for Mister Charlie (New York: Vintage, 1995).

April 27: Read one of these two books by Howard Thurman: Jesus and the Disinherited; Creative Encounter.