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2018 Missiology Lectures


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

*All Wednesday events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

10:00 a.m.  Chapel with Anne Zaki

2:30 p.m.  Pre-Conference Registration

3:00 p.m.  "Arts and Mission: A Complex Story of Cultural Encounter" - James R. Krabill
Response: Scott W. Sunquist

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hosted by William A. Dyrness

7:30 a.m.  Alumni Breakfast

8:00 a.m.  Registration

9:00 a.m.  "Sounds of Our Lands: Performing Arts in Identity Formation and Post-conflict Reconstruction in Southeast Asia" - Sooi Ling Tan
Response: Makoto Fujimura

10:30 a.m.  Coffee Break

11:00 a.m.  "Wild Wild China: Contemporary Art and Neocolonialism" - Joyce Lee
Response:  Diane Obenchain

12:30 p.m.  "Lunch and Conversations" - see topics below
(Lunch is provided to those registered; others are welcome to bring their own lunch and participate)

2:00 p.m. "Art as Dialogue: Exploring Sonically Aware Spaces for Interreligious Encounters" - Ruth Illman
Response: Kutter Callaway

3:30 p.m.  Coffee Break

4:00 p.m.  “Performing toward Community among Religious Neighbors” - UCSB Middle Eastern Music Ensemble

5:30 p.m.  Dinner on Your Own
(A dinner for prospective students will be held in Barker Commons)

7:30 p.m.  “Let the Sacred Be Redefined by the People: An Aesthetics of Liberation Across Religious Lines" - Michelle Voss Roberts and Demi “Day” McCoy
Response: Kirsteen Kim
The 7:30 p.m. lectures are free and open to the public. Please note that seating is limited and is based on a first come, first served basis. 


Friday, November 9, 2018

Hosted by Roberta R. King

9:00 a.m.  "God Moves in a Mysterious Way: Christian Church Music in Multi-Faith Liberia, West Africa, in the Face of Crisis and Challenge" - Ruth Marie Stone
Response: Sherwood Lingenfelter and Judith Lingenfelter

10:30 a.m.  Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. "Crate-Digging through Culture: Hip Hop and Mission in Pluralistic Southern Africa" - Megan Meyers

Response: Ray Briggs

12:30 p.m.  "Lunch and Conversations" - see topics below
(Lunch is provided to those who register; others are free to bring their own lunch and listen in)

2:00 p.m.   "Multifaith Resourcing: (Re)turning, (Re)tuning, (Re)sounding, and (Re)assembling the Lord’s Song in Kenya and South Africa" - Jean Ngoya Kidula

Response: Alexis D. Abernethy

3:30 p.m.  Coffee Break

4:00 p.m.  Practitioner Panel Reflections - Wanjiru Gitao, Robin Harris, Katherine Morehouse, Byron Spradlin, and Charles Fahradian

5:30 p.m.  Dinner on Your Own

7:30 p.m.  Closing Panel Discussion - James R. Krabill, Sooi Ling Tan, Joyce Lee, Ruth Illman, Michelle Voss Roberts, Demi “Day” McCoy, Ruth Marie Stone, Jean Ngoya Kidula, Megan Meyers

Hosted by William A. Dyrness and Roberta R. King

The 7:30 p.m. lectures are free and open to the public. Please note that seating is limited and is based on a first come, first served basis.



Lunch and Conversation Topics

All topics listed below will be offered both days. Please choose one for each day. Lunch is provided to those who registered; others are welcome to bring their own lunch and participate.

Table 1: Contemporary Worship and Artistry: Tensions Between Globalizing Versus Localizing Impulses

Led by: Wanjiru Gitao, Research Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California

Contemporary Christian worship and artistry have come to espouse a certain degree of local and global predictability, particularly in inclination toward celebrity culture, language adaptation, and dependence on technology. Among evangelical churches, much of this is chalked up to contextualization and cultural relevance with a view to reaching younger generations. Drawing from research and some recent literature, my presentation contributes to the conversation on global arts and witness by raising questions on the tensions between globalization versus localization in Christian worship.

Table 2: The Power of Song

Led by: September Penn, Cofounder, CEO, and Artistic Director of The Power of Song Inc. and Fuller MDiv Student

I will first demonstrate how songs have historically offered the opportunity to tell our stories. I'll present a couple of history lessons or backstories of some songs used in the Civil Rights Movement and describe how they have impacted the culture. I'll then invite attendees to recall some songs that have helped to shape who they have become. What do these songs mean? What is their significance for today? If time permits, we will talk about possible themes for songs that need to be written for today. How can we be salt and light in our music to help impact culture?

Table 3: Connecting Cross-culturally with Artists through the Arts

Led by: Sunita Puleo, Professional Singer and Music Director with Via Affirmativa and Fuse Music Project

How do we dig deeper with artists? As art-makers, how do we encourage one another to live into our unique heritages and identities with Christ? Once different aspects of identity are exposed and proclaimed, how do we strengthen the bonds of community between us? How does this new oneness then inspire those around us? This discussion will center on artists as holistic communicators and the arts as a bonding agent in multicultural contexts.

Table 4: A Beginning Theology of Imaginative and Artistic Expression in Life and Missions

Led by: Byron Spradlin, Founder and President of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl

God made artists “unusually wise at imaginative design and expression” for the sake of leading people into touching the transcendent realities of God and life itself, and then to create contextual liturgies that allow culturally relevant worship expression and worship-living. Yet the church is still slow to recognize why God did this. We will discuss these issues and why artistic Christians provide strategic resource flowing into and out from the church to accomplish her missional mandates in this age.

Table 5: What Can Contemporary Art Offer to Missions and What Can Missions Offer to Artists?

Led by: Maria Fee, Artist and PhD Candidate in Theology and Culture at Fuller

The contemporary art world has extended its reach globally with its various art biennales and other international large-scale exhibitions. Our table discussion will explore present creative currents in both the mission field and the fine arts realm to consider if there are any connecting points between the two worlds. An invitation will be extended to those who can share their perspective from either or both of these arenas.

Table 6: Qualifying “Christian” in a Christian Engagement of Art

Led by: Steven Felix-Jager, Adjunct Faculty at Pentecostal Theological Seminary

When we discuss a “Christian” engagement with the arts, we typically relegate Christianity to the Western hemisphere, unaccommodatingly rendering a West-centric engagement of art in an age that is global and pluralistic. Because Christianity has largely moved toward the Global South, we must find a more accommodating approach to engaging the arts that can evince transcultural communication. I would like to posit that we begin with the Spirit when engaging art in a pluralistic world.

Table 7: Aesthetic Gentrification: When cultural products become “trendy”

Led by: Tamisha Tyler, Poet, Liturgist, and Worship Leader with an MDiv in Worship, Theology, and the Arts from Fuller and current PhD student in Theology and Culture

In considering art, culture, and mission, intersections of theology, missiology, sociology, and the like must not be segregated as all impact both faith and community. Cultural ritual, community life, and aesthetic experiences are central in shaping human life and interaction with others and with the divine. With such an intersection, theologians, missiologists, artists, and sociologists should be mindful of what is at play as well as dangers that may arise. In light of this, we will seek to question the dynamics surrounding cultural production as appealing to the white gaze. We will ask if research surrounding gentrification could help us better understand aesthetic shifts and conflicts in art and other forms of cultural production. We will discuss how gentrification studies can give us a fresh lens to see the economic, racial, and other types of power dynamics that occur when we appropriate value onto cultural artifacts and art.

Table 8: Redeeming the West African Culinary Arts as a Dynamic Mechanism for Peacemaking between Christians and Muslims

Led by: Daniel Dama, Current PhD student in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller

We will discuss three questions: (1) In West Africa, conflicts begin in a household when its members are not willing or able to eat from the same dish and drink from the same pot. In what imaginable ways are Christians willing and/or able to eat from the same dish and drink from the same cup as their “enemies”? (2) Meals are a mechanism for conflict prevention and resolution. In West Africa, if you are able to eat a meal given to you by your neighbor, you can forgive him or her. What may hinder Christians from eating the meals of Muslim neighbors and forgiving them ceaselessly? (3) In West Africa, you can refuse your enemy anything except meals and water. In what ways has the church of the 21st century failed to feed its “enemies”?

Table 9: Arts and Witness in Translation: Research and Commissioning of “Christian Songs” in a West African Muslim Context

Led by: Katherine Morehouse, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Chair, Department of Multi-Ethnic Music at Liberty University

In this session, we will look at the case study of the Maninka believers in Kankan, Guinea, to explore what it looks and sounds like to engage a non-Christian majority culture artistically with missional intent. How can we see our Muslim neighbors as participants in the project of God’s glory, inviting them into artistic moments of translating songs, performing research, and commissioning new works for the church?

Table 10: Vocal-Centric Art and Witness in Islamic Context

Led by: Eric Sarwar, PhD student in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller and Pastor of Artesia City Indo-Pak Church

Calligraphic art eclipses the vocal-centric art of pietistic Islam at the public place. Islamic art is not a monolithic style or movement; nevertheless, one of the most common misconceptions about the art of the Islamic world is that it is vision-centric. Organic Islamic art is the qir’at- poetic recitation of the Qur’an and the azan-call of prayer initiated by the prophet of Islam. The conversation around this table will center on how the voice-centric soundscape of Muslim society provides a common ground for scriptural engagement through the book of Psalms in an Islamic context.

Table 11: Where Is Ethnodoxology Going?

Led by: Robin Harris, Assistant Professor and Director of GIAL’s Center for Excellence in World Arts and President of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists

Is the field of ethnodoxology becoming the next frontier for missiology studies? Ethnodoxology resources have mushroomed over the last decade: networks, organizations, and learning opportunities that range from participatory workshops through PhD-level studies. Our discussions will explore ethnodoxology’s growth from emphasizing music to including all the arts, and from its primarily rural mission applications to including multiethnic, urban, and diasporic contexts. Can you afford to do mission in the 21st century without ethnodoxology?