For many of us the arts are a primary conduit to the Holy. We know and experience our spirituality through a hymn, a sacred text or a religious symbol. The hospitality of the arts invites us to return again and again to the full depth and meaning of what we believe.

In this series, the arts lead us into deeper ways of encountering, exploring, and understanding not just our own tradition but the religious traditions of our neighbors. When studying other faiths, “leave room for holy envy,” said Swedish biblical scholar Krister Stendahl.

In Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, Barbara Brown Taylor describes how, while teaching Religion 101, she found something to envy in all the traditions the students study. When she taught Judaism she wanted to be a rabbi. When she taught Buddhism, she wanted to be a monk. Finding something beautiful in other faiths, she gained a greater appreciation and understanding of her own.

Through presentation, experience, and hospitality, we will explore the inherent power of the arts to move us through envy to knowledge and deeper understanding of our own spiritual journey. After a look at Brown Taylor’s book, we will engage a religious tradition through the arts. On November 7, Nimo Farah and Aaron Hodge Silver Greenberg show us how the arts are a catalyst for knowing their own tradition and how that knowing might build bridges to other traditions. Our last session explores the ways the arts and holy envy might open us to a deeper habitation of the holy on our own journey.

On October 31, participants will engage in a religious tradition through visual, literary, or the performing arts.

Facilitated by Cindi Beth Johnson with artists Nimo H. Farah and Aaron Hodge Silver Greenberg.

August 13th, 2019