Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is God's View of Culture? Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the series "What is God's View of Culture?".  To prepare for this post, I read a couple of chapters in Paul G. Hiebert's Anthropological Insights for Missionaries, and re-read portions of Gerald R. McDermott's Can Evangelicals Learn From World Religions: Jesus, Revelation and Religious Traditions.  Both are fascinating books, especially McDermott's (he is also the author of God's Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions?- which is also a great book I've read- and Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods: Christian Theology, Enlightenment Religion, and Non-Christian Faiths).  Other helpful resources are One Church, Many Tribes and Culture, Christ, & Kingdom Study Guide, both by Richard Twiss.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is God's view of culture?

Today I'd like to begin a series of posts on the biblical view of culture and indigenous arts. I've referenced this topic partially in my series on biblical examples of contextualization, which focused on examples of God using contextualization in the Bible. In this series, I want to focus on how we as Christ's ambassadors should regard cultural expressions in the form of visual arts-- i.e., whether as basically good, sinful, or neutral.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Storyboard Carvings of Palau

I decided to do some research into Oceanic art, and came across a contemporary art form called storyboards, from the island nation of Palau. Palau is located in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles east of the Philippines. The population is approximately 21,000, and 70% is made up of native Palauans.  In recent centuries, Palau was ruled by Spain, Germany, Japan, and the U.S. since World War II, but more became an independent republic in 1981.  Missionaries have been active in Palau since the early nineteenth century, when Jesuit missionaries reached the islands.  The listing of religious affiliation from Wikipedia is a bit confusing.  According to one report, 49.4% of the population are Roman Catholics, while in another report, the figure given is 65%.  The remaining population is made up of 21.3% Protestants (2000 individuals?), 8.7% Modekngei and 5.3% Seventh-day Adventists.  Modekngei is a hybrid religion that combines ancient Palauan beliefs with Christianity, and is mostly confined to one village.  This religion could be the topic of an entirely separate post.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stars in Symmetry

Belated Merry Christmas, and Happy 2011!  I've been on a bit of a hiatus lately, and am trying to begin work on a new post.  In the meantime, check out this AWESOME blog about Islamic art: Stars in Symmetry.  This guy describes himself as "obsessed [with] the repeating tessellations of the tiles that adorn Islamic, religious or secular, buildings... The blog is a tribute to it."  He posts lots of great resources on Islamic art, architecture, and, of course, zillij.  Enjoy!