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The Classical Ideas Podcast

Mar 8, 2021

Abel R. Gómez (he/him/his) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religion Department and earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Syracuse University. His research focuses on sacred sites, ritual, and decolonization in the context of contemporary Indigenous religions. Abel is currently completing his dissertation, an ethnography of sacred sites protection movements among the Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco and Monterey regions. He is a steering committee member for the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit of the American Academy of Religion and recently served on the committee organizing the annual Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits Powwow in San Francisco. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and religion from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in religious studies from the University of Missouri.

In our conversation, we discuss his dissertation “Sacred Sites, Ceremony, and Belonging in Ohlone Territory: A Case Study of Indigenous Survival,” the Spanish colonial history of California, the mission system, Junipero Serra, and the conversions, terror, and trauma of indigenous people in the region. 

Read: Statues topple and a Catholic church burns as California reckons with its Spanish colonial past

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