COMPOSING SACRED SPACES (RA-2220)

(09/07/2021-12/17/2021)

Course Memo

‘Art soothes pain! Art wakes up sleepers! Art fights against war & stupidity! ART SINGS HALLELUJA!’ - Peter Schumann, Bread and Puppet Theatre, Glover, VT 1984 Art within the context of a Christian worship space has the potential to be transformative and healing, inspirational and meditative, educational and democratizing. It can be a powerful way to bring us closer to God. The goal of this part-workshop, part-art history course is to prepare and empower students to make aesthetic decisions for their churches and worship spaces by providing historical background and practical tools for creating spaces for retreats, meditation, and prayer.  We will consider the history and theology of church architecture, the use of calligraphy and inscriptions in sacred spaces, outdoor gardens, landscapes, and labyrinths in the context of environmental stewardship, home and community altars in cross-cultural contexts, and virtual sacred spaces that have arisen during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Students will be evaluated through a project detailing their own ‘mock-up’ design of a worship space and will be encouraged to visit and write short reflections about various local sacred spaces. Intended audience: MDiv, ThD, MTS, STD.