Conversatio Divina

Cultura Series: Spiritual Formation in Context

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
– Mark 16.15

Paradigms for transformation in Christ have yielded much fruit in the context of our personal, familial, and ecclesial lives, but to what extent can this be said of our cultural context? The Martin Institute’s Cultura Fellowship is a diverse community of next generation leaders who are asking this question.

In this series our authors ponder how a transformed life in Christ might be said to ripple outward into the cultural landscapes we inhabit and the theoretical and practical tensions we face in traversing this unfamiliar territory.

Along these lines, James K. A. Smith’s, How to Inhabit Time, calls our attention to a growing cultural realization: as temporally bound individuals we live with our collective histories. For Smith, this is nothing to shy away from. Christ teaches us to embrace our humanity. It is in the acceptance of our limitations that we are transformed by grace. The same holds true for our collective transformation. As we learn to be present with our past (the beautiful and the tragic) we behold the healing grace of God.

In our latest piece we feature the work of Martin Institute Cultura Fellow Dea Jenkins. Last evening in Pasadena, CA, Dea hosted the Opening Reception for her “BLK Halos” Exhibit, an amalgamation of textile art, photography, poetry, and song, that grapples with our nation’s struggle to acknowledge and heal from our collective history. Rather than proposing diluted solutions, “BLK Halos” aims to honor the rich cultural heritage of Black America, to offer a space of both lament and celebration for people of color, and to invite the broad public into healing, dialogue, and collaborative making.