Marvin Lee Anderson

Classes Facilitated by Marvin L. Anderson, Ph.D.

Marvin Lee Anderson is the Chair of the Board of Directors and a Core Faculty member at The Fox Institute in Boulder, CO, teaching courses on Crucial Contemporary Issues, Sacred Activism, Ecological Justice, Intergenerational Wisdom and more. Below is a list of courses he will be teaching. To register for classes or to learn more, please click here.

Upcoming Classes

Anger and Betrayal in America’s Heartland

Monday, November 6 – Friday, November 10, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Fox Institute

This course offers a critical and interpretative framework for empathic listening in response to the anger and sense of betrayal in America’s Heartland in the wake of the Presidential election. Contrary to the mainstream narrative of the ‘polarization’ between Red and Blue states, this course breaks down how the systemic devaluation and economic marginalization of various rural communities, people and resources have contributed to the sources of that pain—along racial, economic, cultural and geographical lines.

Based on hearing these painful ‘deep stories,’ students will learn that racism, classism and poverty are not just liberal platitudes. They are harsh realities in rural America that are denied and circumvented by projecting their hurt and anger on others by blaming, shaming, and scapegoating. Using the four paths of Creation Spirituality, we will reclaim the power of prophetic (biblical) indignation and ‘righteous’ anger in the work of love, thus re-storying the pride and pleasure, human dignity and ‘divinity’ (imago dei) of all those whose identity and culture are tied to their place ‘in the country.’

Course Syllabus:

Praying New Psalms of Lament and Protest

[Dates TBD]
The Fox Institute

The strong aversion to the audible, visceral and ritual expression of pain known as lament and mourning—so rooted in the Hebrew Bible and among the Abrahamic faiths—is unmistakeable in traditional and contemporary forms of Christian worship. With the exception of Easter, our liturgical prayers and worship have censored the painful, raging, and problematic passages in Scripture. Even though lament psalms far outnumber praise psalms, the latter outnumber the former in most Protestant responsive readings.

This course addresses this ambivalence regarding strong and ‘dark emotions’ by retrieving the spiritual, biblical, poetic and ritual practice of lament. Using the themes and principles of Creation Spirituality, dramatic in-class recitation of lament psalms and other exercises, students will be challenged to compose and pray new psalms of lament for healing and reconciliation. Given the salient witness of the Standing Rock ‘Protectors,’ how do leaders engage people of faith in moral courage and prayerful, public and liturgical acts of prophetic indignation, civil disobedience and protest (‘sacred activism’)?

Deep Ecology and Theology of the Land

[Dates TBD]
The Fox Institute

There is no greater challenge facing humanity—indeed, no greater issue of justice—than climate change. This class will equip students with a constructive analysis and hopeful response to climate change and the ecological crisis by way of two complementary philosophical and theological worldviews: deep ecology and theology of the land.

Drawing on Creation Spirituality and the biblical, ecofeminist, Native North American, African-American, and agrarian paradigms in particular, students will be challenged to find ways to identify with and enter into the ‘pain and suffering of the land.’ They will reflect on how significant events or personal traumatic experiences of environmental and/or agricultural degradation have 1) triggered their crisis of faith and/or environmental conscience, and 2) called them as leaders to work on behalf of earth healing and environmental justice in their own local communities.

Reweaving Our Tapestry: Reviewing Our Lives and Legacies

[Dates TBD]
The Fox Institute

This course promotes the practice of life review informed by the concept of ‘spiritual eldering’ espoused by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald Miller. Given the metaphor of a tapestry, mentors and elders are urged to reflect on the many chapters of their lives, consciously reweaving and retrieving those painful, incoherent, shameful, and imperfect strands of it―for their own benefit and to the benefit of those generations that follow them.

Using Creation Spirituality in tandem with C.G. Prado’s concept of ‘interpretive parsimony’ in particular, students will be encouraged to reinterpret the difficult, life-changing events of their lives, i.e., losing a job, the death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, etc. Interpretive parsimony is basically our tendency to respond to situations as we have always responded in the past. Instead of narrowing our outlook and hardening our opinions as we age, spiritual elders actually become more creative and capacious by seeding the future with their legacy and wisdom.