Editor’s Note: Points readers who have followed our coverage this fall of ayahuasca, mushrooms, and other psychoactive plants will be excited to learn the details of the first annual conference sponsored by the Working Group on Plants and Religion at the University of Florida, which will take place next week (15-17 Dec.). As we noted in an earlier post, two eminent Latin American scholars will grace this conference. The keynote address, “Legal Issues in the Ritual Use of Ayahuasca in Brazil,” by Professor Edward MacRae of the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, will be at 4:30 on Thursday the 15th in 219 Anderson Hall. Beatriz Caiuby Labate, currently of the University of Heidelberg, will be present to offer questions and comments at all the sessions, and will lead the plenary on the morning of Saturday the 17th. The complete schedule of conference events is available here.
Conference Participants Include:
Benjamin Hebblethwaite Assistant Professor of Haitian Creole, Haitian & Francophone Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Florida.
Bron Taylor Professor of Religion, University of Florida. Bron Taylor is the editor of Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, and an active contributor to the Encyclopedia of Religion & Nature and The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.
Whitney Sanford Associate Professor of Religion, University of Florida. Dr. Sanford teaches and researches two main areas: Religion and Nature, and Religions of Asia. She focuses on environmental movements of the global South and religious attitudes towards agricultural sustainability. She will discuss her recent book Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture.
Christopher A. Wright
Independent Scholar of religions and professional photographer. Mr. Wright holds an M.A. in Religion from Hartford Seminary and did his doctoral thesis research on Mesoamerican art of the sacred, at University of Montreal. A survivor of a Mucopolysaccharidosis (also known as Morquio’s Disease), a rare genetic disorder that affects all weight-bearing joints, Dr. Wright has long been an advocate of the use of cannabis sativa for medicinal purposes.