For many of us the arts are a primary conduit to the Holy. We know and experience our spirituality through a hymn, a sacred text or a religious symbol. The hospitality of the arts invites us to return again and again to the full depth and meaning of what we believe.
In this series, the arts lead us into deeper ways of encountering, exploring, and understanding not just our own tradition but the religious traditions of our neighbors. When studying other faiths, “leave room for holy envy,” said Swedish biblical scholar Krister Stendahl.
In Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, Barbara Brown Taylor describes how, while teaching Religion 101, she found something to envy in all the traditions the students study. When she taught Judaism she wanted to be a rabbi. When she taught Buddhism, she wanted to be a monk. Finding something beautiful in other faiths, she gained a greater appreciation and understanding of her own.
Through presentation, experience, and hospitality, we will explore the inherent power of the arts to move us through envy to knowledge and deeper understanding of our own spiritual journey. After a look at Brown Taylor’s book, we will engage a religious tradition through the arts. On November 7, Nimo Farah and Aaron Hodge Silver Greenberg show us how the arts are a catalyst for knowing their own tradition and how that knowing might build bridges to other traditions. Our last session explores the ways the arts and holy envy might open us to a deeper habitation of the holy on our own journey.
COST: Free. Please RSVP.
On October 31, participants will engage in a religious tradition through visual, literary, or the performing arts.
This program is supported by a gift to deepen the role of the arts at Wisdom Ways.
Please give a gift to the Wisdom Ways’ 25th anniversary fund.
Cindi Beth Johnson is a professor in the practice of theology and the arts at United Theological of the Twin Cities, teaching arts and social transformation, arts and leadership, and spirituality and the arts. A minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she believes that the arts are a vessel for imagination and the creative spirit that opens doors for understanding and connection.
Artist and activist Nimo H. Farah has shared her poetry and short stories in several publications and venues. Co-founder of SALLI (Somali Arts Language & Leadership Institute), which promotes Somali arts and literature in Minnesota, she is a 2014 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow, a 2014 Bush Fellow, a recipient of 2015 Intermedia Arts VERVE grant, and a 2016 National Arts Strategies Fellow.
Aaron Hodge Silver Greenberg has created art in many media over the course of his artistic life, and in the past decade has produced papercut artwork almost exclusively. His papercut designs often spring forth from Hebrew texts and include text, seeking to question and reinforce meanings, to comfort and challenge the viewer, and to evoke a desire to look, think, and discover.
Aaron’s exhibit Challenge Yourself: A Jewish Papercut Artist will be on display at Wisdom Ways in October and November 2019.
This Program’s Calendar Entries
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