Christians spend a lot of time talking about what is true or exploring goodness, but we do not spend as much time exploring beauty, aesthetics, and the arts. In a world full of content curated to our specific taste, we need more time and space to fill our souls with the kind of art that breaks open our curiosity and makes us come alive. Where does God meet us in the beauty of our imagination? How does art and culture shape our desires and longings?
In this episode, Chris and Eddie are joined by James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin University and Editor-in-Chief of Image Journal. Smith aspires to bridge the gap between the academy, society, and church, and he discusses the art of culture-making as it relates to the Christian faith. Smith recognizes the tension between the view of culture as the result of a broken world and God’s vision for culture as creational good, and he calls us to recognize that we all take part in framing culture.
Smith believes that what we make of the world is much more of a reflection of what we want for the world than how we think about the world. He invites us to create habits of putting ourselves in the way of things we don’t understand and making ourselves available to be encountered. By expanding our imagination, we give our souls space to carefully consider the stories we carry in our bones and the ways that those stories frame our culture.
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Read James K.A. Smith’s article Healing the Imagination: Art Lessons from James Baldwin
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