Someone climbing a set of stairs, with cultural icons around them, taking hold of Jesus' crown at the top.

Culture 2: Responding Creatively to Culture

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In the previous Foundation course on Listening Critically to Culture we laid the groundwork for thinking about culture from a Christian perspective: a method for understanding and responding to popular cultural works. We opened a way for talking with non-Christian friends and neighbours about how they understand the world, what is important to them and how the gospel is relevant to them.

But cultural engagement means more than simply responding to non-Christian cultural works, we must go further. This course will encourage you to join in with the larger cultural conversation by creating cultural works that reflect a truly Christian imaginative vision.

To create in this way, and to do it well, we must begin by asking some fundamental questions:

  • What is the imagination?
  • What makes the Christian imagination distinctive?
  • How can we train and sustain a Christian imagination?
  • What is the role of the artist in the Christian community?
  • What makes some Christian cultural works good and others not-so-good?
  • How are we to define the ‘goodness’ of a piece of Christian culture? (Evangelistic directness? Aesthetic subtlety? Moral rectitude?)
  • What counts as an authentic piece of Christian culture?

The real goal of Christian cultural works within a non-Christian culture is to be salt and light where there is rot and darkness, aiming to be a witness to God and his mercy and beauty in a world where he has become largely forgotten. This is no small task.

The overall goal of this course is to provide a vision and some practical steps for shaping a community that could contribute oases of the imagination to the surrounding culture, and hopefully to influence the shape of the culture’s collective imagination. We need to do the hard work to make our culture a place where the gospel makes sense – a gospel-friendly imaginative context, if you will. We want to move our culture a little closer in its imaginative life toward something that breathes life and health and peace for the glory of God.

You can take this course as part of a group or on your own, working at a pace that suits you.

The normal price is £20 for an individual, and £15 for most groups. However, discounts are available for partner organisations.

Building on what you learn

This course is best enjoyed as a follow up to our first culture course on Listening Critically to Culture. You might also be interested in our Foundation course on Evangelism. Look at our full list of Foundation courses.