“On October 16-18, the folks at Circle of Hope in Philadelphia will host activist theologian and author Ched Myers for a biblical exploration of nature, civilization and feral faith. The conference will focus on Sabbath/hunter-gatherer economics, rewilding and resistance, and engage our biblical origin stories for signs of hope in the midst of the current economic and environmental crises.Additional speakers will also present on a range of topics, from primal parenting to practical rewilding…
The cost of this event is free.”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
Intro and welcome—Jay Beck
Griot Ancestral Lineage Litany—Blew
Opening Ceremony with Altar, Fire lighting ritual, acknowledgment of the elements and the four directions and invocation of the Holy Spirit — led by Ched and worship band
The Ecological Endgame of Industrial Civilization as a Crisis of/for Faith — Ched Myers
Nothing in the conversation about Anarcho-Primitivism and Christianity makes sense unless and until we face squarely not only our culture of Domination, but the specter of environmental collapse that haunts our history. The ideology of Progress has been an article of faith in modernity, deeply shaping North American Christianity (both conservative and liberal) for the last three centuries. How might we “monkeywrench” this bankrupt paradigm, and how might old biblical stories help us reimagine faith, culture and politics?
Regathering — Charity
“A Woman’s Faith Journey into Anarcho-Primitivism — Miranda Duschack
No language!? No gardening or menstrual pads!?! How does anyone embrace the liberating and brilliant truth of anarcho-primitivism? This address is one woman’s story of radical discipleship. Miranda will discuss her emotional and intellectual journey to the merging of Christianity and AP into practice. A report of the Women’s Circle at Plow Creek will also be given; Miranda was an originator and co-organizer of this important 3 day event. Women have a place in this Movement; learn how we define our role within radical community.
Regathering — Tim Reardon
How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go? The Gospel of Social Darwinism and the Biblical Account of Origins — Ched Myers
This talk will summarize and contrast the Enlightenment narrative of “civilization as ascent” and the Genesis Creation/Fall tale of “civilization as decline.” What are the implications of this divergence for Christian thought and practice, and what are the touch points with emerging “primitivist” perspectives?
6:15-6:50pm: Q&A (talk back)
Regathering — Seth Martin
Camden Labyrinth prayer walk led by Andrea Ferich
Informal acoustic songshare, fellowship, closing ceremony including communion at bread oven fire pit in Eve’s Garden in Camden.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17
9:00 am: Opening ceremony (relighting the fire, litany, gathering song)
Naming God as Mother, Rediscovering the Divine Feminine — Andrea Ferich
Certainly there is a correlation between feminine god imagery and sustainable living. Throughout history when women are confined to the household or treated as property with no feminine goddess in that society, the earth becomes tamed, destroyed, and commodified. The indigenous wisdom of our ancestors holds two principles in common; feminine deities and the care for all Creation as brothers and sisters. The age of nomadism and pastoralists gave rise to patriarchy and the domination of women. This age laid the foundation for the monotheistic faiths and the perpetuation of patriarchy, vilifying indigenous wisdom and goddess imagery. Through an eco-feminist lens we will explore the feminine side of God through the Bible as naming God as Mother and the great liberation of all of Creation that labors and waits in eager expectation to be revealed. Please bring your wisdom to share.
Regathering — Aimee Wilson
Native Tradition and Neo-colonialism — Jenn LeBlanc
This presentation will be a general overview of the historical effects of colonialism on traditional knowledge and how this has laid the foundation for neocolonial exploitation. It is Jenn’s understanding that neo-colonialism continues to pervade the relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. By way of the overview, obvious examples of colonialism will be pointed out to the audience; moreover, less obvious examples of neo-colonialism, even unconscious utilization of traditional knowledge without permission, will be brought to the fore. As a result of colonial and neo-colonial behaviors, indigenous peoples have had to struggle for the reclamation of their traditional knowledge and life ways. Part of this presentation will be a discussion of the ways in which the North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies and iEmergence (iE) and the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous Peoples are attempts at this reclamation for indigenous people globally.
Regathering — Powwow worship led by psalters and theillalogical spoon
“Jesus’ Vision Quest and Abel’s Primal Cry: Indigenous Blood and Feral Faith in the US and the Philippines.” — Jim Perkinson and Lily Mendoza
In this talk Jim Perkinson will examine Jesus’ time in the wilderness—using it to push the idea that return to the land is through the history it carries on its back. That is to say, going feral requires coming to grips with who has been there before us and what happened to them: indigenous experience and/or disappearance as a requisite engagement for responsible “re-wilding.” Jesus returned to the land and “heard” history. He had to get clear on how his people came to be in that geography historically, at whose expense, and figure out his response to the deepest moments of gifting and wounding that history encoded. Then Lily Mendoza would share some of her experience in struggling to recover from colonial history by working to retrieve/reinvent some of the indigenous practices and orientation co-opted or shattered in the colonial project.
Regathering — Lesser Beggars
A panel presentation of folks who have been learning practical skills and “rewilding” including:
* Neil Gynther — braintanning clothes and making tools from roadkill
* Joel and Charity Cimarron — Goat walking
* Amanda — herbal medicine
* Daniel and Billy — identifying edible wild plants
* Rachel Summerlot — Doula and midwifery
* Andrea Ferich — urban gardening, soil reclamation, seed saving, rain water
* Melissa Delong — loomweaving
* Abigail Kahler–blacksmithing with scrap metal from a home forge and anvil
Regathering — Jon Felton
Resistance is Fertile-Following the Path of Primal Parenting — Charity and
In our hyper-civilized, pathologically adolescent society, how do we go about raising the next generation of resisters? Drawing on the wisdom of indigenous cultures and affirming our own ‘primitive’ instincts, primal parenting offers the possibility to rewild our own domesticated selves and, in turn, become the parents that the children in our lives need us to be. We’ll be tracing the steps that have taken us down this particular path of resistance, offering resources and ideas to help others on their own journey.
Q&A with Charity and Joel
Regathering — Lesser Beggars
Attend to the Wildflowers and Birds!” Primitive Jesus — Ched Myers
The New Testament reasserts the prophetic tradition, clear-eyed about the Fall and fiercely hopeful about a reinhabitory Eschaton. We’ll reflect on Luke 12:13-34’s teaching about earth cosmology and Sabbath Economics. Then we’ll consider Paul’s intriguing notion of Christ as the “eschatological ‘adam” in Rom 5:12-19.
8:00-8:40pm: Q&A (talk back)
All Out apocalyptic mystic feral exorcistic worship release to the God of Liberation — psalters and theillalogical spoon
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18
9:00am: opening ceremony —psalters and theillalogicalspoon
It’s a Long Way Back: Concerns about Presumption, Privilege and Political Marginalization among Putative Primitivists — Ched Myers
A Christian hermeneutic in conversation with anarcho-primitivism contains far more questions than answers. Paradigm shifts don’t happen in a generation, and there are lots of contradictions in the practices of primitivism. Nor can we afford to ignore the lessons of past social movements of resistance and renewal as we struggle to re-vision what it means to be a feral church.
Closing Meditation: “There we saw the Nephilim—and we seemed like grasshoppers to them…” (Num 13:32f) — Ched Myers
Industrial civilization is a Goliath, and we are armed only with the slingshot of David. Resistance is not futile and renewal is not a pipedream—but we must be in it for the long haul. Anarchist and Primitivist Christians are also called to a discipleship of the Cross, which is about improvisational creativity, revolutionary patience and longsuffering grace in the face of long odds.
11:45-Noon: Closing Ceremony — led by Ched and worship team
Noon to 1:00pm — Clean up
Everyone must be out of building by one–so that Circle can prepare for its evening worship meetings. Ched will be giving the sermon at both the 5pm and 7pm meetings.