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Where Religion, Theology, Art and Culture Intersect

When newly married poet Christian Wiman contracted a rare, incurable blood cancer at the age of 39, he discovered a need to find a form for his previously unorganized faith. Returning to church, he discovered "a sense of solidarity and suffering and a sense of solidarity and worship." However, he found the ways churches talk about God, faith, suffering and death woefully inadequate. According to correspondent July Valente, who interviewed Wiman for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a source for cutting edge reporting at the intersection of religion and culture, "Wiman says people today are seeking a new language for speaking about God. It is a language that goes beyond words, concepts or even doctrine, that taps into a genuine experience of the divine, what he calls 'glimmers of God.'" Poetry serves that purpose, compressing and refining language and metaphor to allow seekers to find religious enlightenment. Hear more of Wiman's thoughts in this extended interview. Relatedly, Jeremy Begbie, a systematic theologian trained as a concert pianist, who specializes in multimedia performance-lectures demonstrating the interplay between theology and art, shared his perspective on music as an "aural lubricant" that can teach us to learn to wait upon God in the silences in an interview for Faith & Leadership, an online offering of Duke Divinity School. Also see the material on our website under the "Cultural Trends" subheading of the "Research" tab, beginning with the article, "Best Resources to Research Cultural Trends."




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