Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visual Arts Contextualization in the Bible, Part 1

I thought it would be interesting to write a series of posts on examples of the contextualization of visual arts in the Bible itself-- not principles, but actual examples (the principles of how to contextualize the visual arts will have to wait till later).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Contextualization & Hinduism (Pt. 2): Why Contextualize?

Here's an interesting post by Rev. Cody Lorance (via Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity) in a series about the need for contextualization in missions (in this case, among Hindus). At this stage the author is laying an important foundation, but as time goes on (and based on some of his other posts on contextualized worship), I hope to see some interesting specific examples, which will hopefully include some musings on the arts (e.g., see the photo at left in the part 1 post).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Indian Church Art (or lack thereof)

Here are two paragraphs quoted from Jyoti Sahi's latest blog post at Jyoti Art Ashram. I have included some comments at the end.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review-- Symbol and Ceremony: Making Disciples Across Cultures by A. H. Mathias Zahniser

Symbol and Ceremony: Making Disciples Across Cultures by A. H. Mathias Zahniser gives much food for thought regarding missions and discipling cross-culturally.  

Zahniser's purpose is to explore how ritual and ceremony can be used as tools for discipling followers of Jesus, by those who are from another culture. He cites and explains the importance of symbols and ceremonies (pilgrimages, initiation rites, etc.) for bonding religious meaning to personal faith in indigenous cultures, and the danger of not utilizing these resources ("split-level Christianity"). He gives several examples of religious rituals and ceremonies (most of which come from other religious traditions) and then adds his thoughts on how they could be adapted for Christian use.

I applaud his approach to contextualization which strives to avoid syncretism (chapter eight is an excellent review and presentation on the meaning and process of contextualization). Ironically, I felt that a few of his more western (Christian) examples of various rituals felt a little too "churchy," i.e., a bit traditional and boring.  But overall, I'd love to read more along these lines, including further examples and experiments in additional nonwestern contexts.  The book certainly challenges the western/modernistic approach to discipleship which stresses head knowledge and systematic theology without connecting it to the struggles of daily living.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Some thoughts on the role of the visual arts in indigenous cultures

As I continue to read various books and articles relating to indigenous visual arts (including my post about Balinese Christian artist Nyoman Darsane), a question has come to my mind, one that I'd really love to get some feedback about from indigenous Christian leaders.