Friday, 19 July
Poetry and the Cure of Souls: the Role of Poetry in our Personal and Pastoral Needs
Andrew Roycroft and Rebecca Reynolds
Poet and pastor Andrew Roycroft explores the intersection between his ministry and his reading and writing of poetry, and author and poet Rebecca Reynolds (Courage, Dear Heart) offers benefits and drawbacks to the metaphorical nature of language, providing an introduction to poetry therapy, casting a vision for the power of language applied to the human soul.
The Sheer Face of Story
Doug McKelvey and Heidi Johnston
Authors Heidi Johnston (Life in the Big Story) and Douglas Kaine McKelvey (Every Moment Holy) consider the potential of stories to shape our faith and imagination, as well as the implications for the writer and the creative process. Rather than being an optional add-on, stories are key in helping us grow in our understanding of truth, of God, and even of our own identities as followers of Jesus.
Saying the Unsayable
The truth will set you free—except for the times it gets you in trouble, banned from Twitter, or arrested. How can Christians tell jokes—or hear jokes—in these trying times of Twitchfork Mobs? James Cary, author of The Sacred Art of Joking, provides a guide to the present minefield of humor.
Universal: Stories, Questions, and Desires that Long for the Gospel
Dan Strange and Chris Green
Dan Strange, Director at Oak Hill Theological College and author of Plugged in: Connecting Your Faith with what You Watch, Read, and Play, and Chris Green, vicar of St. James Church in Muswell Hill, London, and author of From Now On...: First Steps for New Christians discuss the themes and longings running through our lives and our world that point, ultimately, toward the Gospel.
Friday, 19 July
The Beautiful Bypass: Meeting God Through the Imagination
In the western world, it’s easy to mistake an intellectual knowledge of God for a genuine, transformative experience of God. But our deepest understanding of God has already been formed in our imagination, so God, in his kindness, often bypasses the intellect to meet us there. In this interactive workshop, author Helena Sorensen (The Shiloh Series) takes a look at our current image of God and considers ways in which the capacity that allows us to engage with story also gives us insight into the written and spoken word of God.
Bonhoeffer & the Other
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, a pastor, and an agent of the resistance against Adolf Hitler. His legacy is often misunderstood, and his name has become a veritable tug of war between conservative and liberal elements of Christianity. But in this session Washington University Associate Professor and award-winning artist John Hendrix will focus on what might be Bonhoeffer’s most enduring challenge to the world—his notion of seeing “the other” inside and outside the walls of the church.
The Soul of the Eye: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Mythic Imagination
Lanier Ivester and Ross Wilson
What did Tolkien mean when he called Christianity the “true myth?” And why was this concept so earth-shattering that it ultimately persuaded C. S. Lewis to believe that Jesus Christ was, indeed, the Son of God? In this session, writer and poet Lanier Ivester and painter and sculptor Ross Wilson will explore the ways in which Lewis and Tolkien, as scholars and mythmakers, sought to engage the imagination with the beauty of the Gospel, and how we, as artists and Christians, might touch into other lives with God’s love, creativity and truth.
The Writing Life
Andrew Peterson, Joshua Luke Smith, and friends
Author and musician Andrew Peterson, musician Josh Luke Smith (Orphans No More), and others lead a discussion about the difficulties, mysteries, truimphs, and insights of wrangling words and music into the medium of song.
Saturday, 20 July
Something Out of Nothing: The Role of Imitation in Human Creativity
Micah Coston and Pete Peterson
Micah Coston (DPhil, English Literature, Oxford University) and author and playwrite A. S. “Pete” Peterson (The Fiddler’s Gun, Frankenstein), exmanine ways in which creators of art borrow or imitate both other artists and the natural world in the creation of new works.
Music for the Broken: How African-American Spirituals and Shostakovich Sustain Us in the Midst of Suffering
Ruth Naomi Floyd and Mark Meynell
Using African-American spirituals and the works of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, jazz musician Ruth Naomi Floyd, and author Mark Meynell (When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend) examine the power of music and it’s ability to carry us through the darkest of human experiences.
Theology of Creation
John Hendrix, Siku, and Ross Wilson
Awarding-winning author and artist John Hendrix (The Faithful Spy) leads visual artists Siku (The Manga Bible) and Ross Wilson in a discussion of the importance of creativity and art and how these subjects affect the ways in which we view, discuss, and interact with God.
Joshua Luke Smith and Andrew Peterson
Both Andrew Peterson, proprietor of the Rabbit Room, and Joshua Luke Smith, founder of Orphans No More, have helped to shape vibrant creative communities that draw artists together. Andrew and Joshua will discuss how these communities came to be and how they have nutured both art and artists toward better word and better relationships.