Encountering Silence
Ashe Van Steenwyk: Silence, Queer Spirituality, and the Prophetic Imagination
January 16, 2024
A conversation with Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk, author and excecutive director of the Minneapolis-based Center for the Prophetic Imagination.
The Encountering Silence team returns with an interview recorded last spring but unreleased until now! Cassidy, Kevin and Carl sat down for a contemplative conversation with Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk (she/they), a queer mystic who is the author of three books and the executive director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination in Minneapolis. 
Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk

Ashe (formerly writing under the name “Mark”) is the author of A Wolf at the Gate, unKingdom: Repenting of Christianity in America, and That Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity and Anarchism, along with contributing to edited works like Banned Questions About Jesus and Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom. Ashe's writing has been published in Sojourners, Geez Magazine, JesusRadicals.com, Leadership Magazine, the Mennonite, and Mennonite World Review. Her work has been featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribute, the Boston Globe, and on CNN.com.

As the former co-producer of the Iconocast, Ashe interviewed Cornel West, James Cone, Bill Ayers, Starhawk, Wazayatawin and many others. These days, Ashe is usually on the other side of the virtual microphone — like with us here on Encountering Silence.

Ashe has a B.S. in Ministry from the University of Northwestern, an M.Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and studied Spiritual Direction at the University of St. Catherine’s graduate school. Ashe is currently working on her doctoral dissertation at United Theological Seminary.

The Center for Prophetic Imagination works to subvert the existing social order through deep discernment culminating with creative action. In the tradition of the prophets, we long for a world where all walls of alienation are torn down and we all live justly with one another, with the land, and with the spirit of liberation. In addition to a robust online presence, the Center for Prophetic Imagination offers spiritual direction, formation for spiritual directors with an emphasis on social transformation (in partnership with the Minnesota Institute for Contemplation and Healing), and other programs.

Our conversation explored Ashe's commitment to the intersection of contemplation and justice, her unique perspective on both spirituality and activism as a trans woman, and more.

Visit Ashe online at www.makiashe.com. Visit the Center for Prophetic Imagination's website at www.propheticimagination.org.