In the latest Network Leaders ‘cyber-chat’ session, ICDF network coordinators reflected on some topics relating to Christian dance. Andrew shares his thoughts about the prophetic role of dance for social justice…
The ethical dimension of art
I draw a lot of my inspiration from Walter Brueggemann’s book, “The Prophetic Imagination”, where he talks about diverse creative artists imagining an alternative narrative for society to that of the dominant status quo. This is especially in terms of imagining a vision of human society which embraces all the hopes that Christ spoke about in texts like the Sermon on The Mount and in his wider teaching, those advanced by the prophets, and the apostles.
Part of engaging with the prophetic imagination means advocating for social justice. It means also trying to motivate others, especially artists, to understand that what they do must necessarily include promoting Christ’s in-breaking and messianic reign. This conclusion comes from seriously considering the mission implications of Luke 4 in following Jesus’ Way. The work of the Christian artist must necessarily include promoting Christ’s in-breaking and messianic reign. This includes the social justice Christ introduces for the poor, blind, sick, entrapped, and imprisoned. The Christian artist promotes these things through the prophetic aspects of their artistic expression. This includes becoming an activist “in deed”, by using their art to empower the poor practically, confronting unjust systems and settings, and so much else besides.
— Andrew (Creative Arts & Social Concern Network Coordinator)