This week I have been honored to be the Guest Director of Ecclesio, an online magazine/conversation from my friend Cynthia Holder Rich. Throughout the year, Ecclesio begins a conversation on topic and asks two people to officially respond. My contribution was to ask two stellar theologians to reflect with me on an adaptation of my ebook Theology Is Art.
From her article:
Theology is not meant to be experienced in the ivory white tower or in the stratosphere of religious experience because it is not only about God, it is about God and humanity. It opens the doors to connecting more deeply with one’s experience, and more importantly, with each other’s experiences. Landon echoes this sentiment in a way: “Art, according to Langer, is also symbolic. Its purpose is not to define, lock down, or restrict. Rather, art wants to suggest, set free, and expand. While precision may have a role to play, ultimately, art wants something more not less. Art wants abundance, not scarcity.” Art, and specifically poetry, has the wideness to allow us to experience God more fully.
From his article:
By “artists” I don’t simply mean those recognized as “artistic” for their superior technical skill or for their temperament or for their acute sensitivity. I do mean them, maybe even primarily them, but I also and completely mean everyone else. I mean each adherent of the Christian faith as a theologian and therefore an artist.
If anybody should indeed care about an art-theology, then they must be made to care about art-theologians. We need to more and more situate the believing subject squarely in the center of whatever theological discourse is emerging. Claiming theology as art in a meaningful way probably means celebrating individual theologians’ experiential, limited, contextual, grasp of theology’s object, God, and not perpetuating anymore the modern preference for objective, dispassionate, propositional, wrapped-in-printed-text, discourse as more theologically reliable.
I am so grateful for these two taking the time to reflect with me on the art from that is theology. If you have reflections, I would love to see them as well.