Christ in Creation
How does Christ relate to creation?
Lead by Joshua King
2020 Fall Formation
Many modern Western Christians have imagined him (after resurrection) above creation, reaching down into our hearts to work a drama of salvation for which "nature" provides a stage (one day to be left for heaven). Yet the biblical witness and much of Christian tradition envision Christ in creation, holding it together, entering its suffering bodily, reconciling all of it—not only humans—to God. Could such a vision inform how we see ourselves as the body of Christ now? What would it mean for our worship? How could the arts help us reawaken to Christ's presence in creation? How might we join Christ's work of reconciliation in a world in which ecological, racial, and economic injustice are inseparably linked? These are some of the issues we'll consider together.
In this introductory video, Josh will welcome us to the class, invite us to consider why we need to consider the subject of "Christ in Creation" at this time, explain how our conversations will be structured.
Our Place in Creation
Reading Richard Bauckham, “The Human Place in Creation—A Biblical Overview” (from Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology, 2011)9
Human Sin, Creation’s Lament, Sabbath Redemption
Reading: Richard Bauckham,”The Whole Creation Mourns” and “Praise and Lament” (from The Bible and Ecology, 2010). Wirzba, "Sabbath Creation" pp. 31-34 and "From Sabbath to Sunday" (from Living the Sabbath 2006).
Joining the Praise of Creatures
Reading: The Benedicite; Rossetti, “All Thy Works Praise Thee, O Lord”: A Processional of Creation; Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty” (we might add verses of our own to Rossetti’s processional and listen to Carlos Colon’s musical adaptation)
Contemplating Creation with Love in the Risen Christ
Reading: from Pope Francis, Laudato Si' (2015) (seeing creation as an act of love: par. 76-77; creatures diversely, uniquely express God: 84-88; the gaze and presence of Jesus: 96-100; the good of seeing beauty: 214-215; summary: 221; sacramental, Trinitarian vision: 233-240); Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur,” “The Windhover,” “Binsey Poplars”
*Optional extra for those interested: Norman Wirzba, “Perceiving Creation” (From
Nature to Creation, 2015)
Drawing as Contemplation in Practice
Discussion and workshop with artist Joel Edwards on drawing as a way of attending carefully and affectionately to the intricate diversity of creation, whose every facet is indwelt and held together by Christ. Drawing can be an aid to such contemplative attention even if we never call ourselves artists. Joel and Josh King open with a conversation, and Joel then leads an exercise in sketching a wildflower that blooms from July through October in Texas and much of the central United States—the false purple thistle (eryngium leavenworthii).
Agricultural Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement
Discussion with Jenny Howell, Director of the Theology, Ecology, and Food Justice Program at Baylor's Truett Seminary
Reading: Chapter on Fannie Lou Hamer from Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance in the Black Freedom Movement (2018)