What good are the arts to a multi-ethnic city?

What good are the arts to a multi-ethnic city?

How might the arts enable multi-ethnic communities to live well together? Can the arts help us to imagine the "like and unlike" in harmonious, instead of homogenous or contentious, common life (like this perhaps)? Does Christian theology have something distinct to contribute to the artistic imagination, particularly as it relates to the challenges and opportunities of a city like Houston, Texas, which, according to a joint report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, is the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the nation?

Can the arts not only mend but inspire a racially mixed city with a vision of a flourishing public life?

These are the sorts of questions which we hope to explore at the inaugural event for Brehm Texas. This event will take place on August 29, 2015, at 7:00 pm, at the Stone Chapel, a reconstruction of a 500 A.D. Byzantine church in Tomarza, Cappadocia (Turkey), pictured below.

What is Brehm Texas? It is the newest initiative of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. It is an initiative that I have been tasked to lead. Based out of the Fuller Texas campus, the vision of Brehm Texas is to revitalize the church through the arts for the common good. Our mission is to gather church leaders, artists, academics and creatives for the purpose of exploring the varied role of the arts in the life of the church and, in light of those gatherings, to produce resources that serve the church in a global context.

Here are the basic details about the inaugural event:

What: A public lecture followed by catered reception.
When: August 29, 2015, 7:00–9:00 pm.
Where: The Lanier Theological Library Chapel
Who: Jeremy Begbie, the Thomas A. Langford Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School, gives a lecture: "What Good Can the Arts Offer to a Multi-Ethnic City?"
Who else: Performances by two Houston artists: Lupe Mendez (poet) and Kareem Goode (cellist).
To register: go here. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so it's first come, first serve.

I'm super excited about this event and cordially invite you to come. Anybody and everybody is welcome.


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