Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ethnicity And Identity | Lausanne Global Conversation

From the website for The Lausanne Global Conversation, here's a great post by Dewi Hughes with his thoughts about ethnicity and identity as it concerns indigenous Christianity and evangelization. Although he focuses on language as a source of cultural identity, it has a lot of application to the arts as well. Please check it out!

Ethnicity And Identity | Lausanne Global Conversation

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Featured Artist: Nyoman Darsane

I recently posted about Balinese Christianity.  So in today's post, I'd like to feature one of Bali's best-known Christian artists, Nyoman Darsane. 

I've pulled the information below from a variety of web sources, plus the book The Christian Story: Five Asian Artists Today, an exhibition catalog from the Museum of Biblical Art in NYC (the book, btw, is a good introduction to indigenous contextualization of the visual arts, especially in Asia).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Narrative, Symbol, and Ritual

"Narrative, Symbol, and Ritual" is a great post by Dr. Colin Harbinson, the International Director of StoneWorks, a global arts initiative for cultural restoration and the recovery of the imagination in the life and mission of the church.  I'm currently reading one of the books he mentions in the post (Symbol and Ceremony by A.H. Mathias Zahniser), so all of this is fresh on my mind, though I'm still trying to mentally grasp it all and put it together coherently.  In part, the blog explores how the visual arts play a role in symbolism and ritual across most cultures, linking the meta narrative of their faith to their daily life, thoughts and emotions, and how the western church has lost much of this visual aspect of discipleship.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Christianity in Bali


The Christian communities on the island of Bali in southeast Asia offer one of the most interesting examples of nonwestern Christianity in the world, through its embrace of indigenous arts such as architecture, relief carving, music, dance, ceremony and dress (this is a part of the world that is definitely on my must-travel list!). Back in 1972 the Protestant church of Bali decided to embrace the contextualization of their faith, after about 40 years of having practiced a version of Christianity started by Chinese missionaries that condemned the native cultural practices (in earlier decades, the Catholic church had made the same choice as well). The result has been churches which are built in the Balinese architectural style which reflects the Hindu culture of the island (though I suppose with reinterpreted meanings). The church services use gamelan music, shadow puppetry and traditional Balinese dance . Some Hindu cultural celebrations have been adopted or reinterpreted as well. Unfortunately, tantalizingly little has been written about these rich cultural practices of Bali's Christian community . Maybe one day I'll have to do something about that...

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Diversity of Early Believers

A good reminder that today's worldwide ethnic (and therefore cultural) diversity of Jesus' followers is as old as the religion itself (too bad it didn't stay that way continuously since then):

The Diversity of Early Believers by Carolyn McCulley

(thanks to Paul Neeley for the heads up!).