A Process for leading Theological Reflection

Based on The Art of Theological Reflection by Patricia O’Connell Killen and John de Beer [35]

Clarify the purpose for the reflection

  • The purpose of a Theological Reflection for an art committee is to discern an image which will be the subject of art created for worship.

Choose two or more sources of human experience, one of which must be Tradition

  • Action (our personal stories)
    Tradition (Scripture, church history, theology, spiritual writings, popular practices, etc)
    Culture (social structure, current events, environmental, economic, justice, etc)
    Positions (opinions, convictions, beliefs)

Develop questions that tap into the first source

  • Explore questions that drill down into the source material in a way that exposes the deeper meaning.

Identify the heart of the matter:

  • Our contemplation of the selected sources of human experience listed above and attention to the feelings or memories it evokes allows us to identify and name the “central question, tension, issue, theme, problem, or wonderment of the experience”[36]

Bring the heart of the matter into dialogue with additional sources, including Christian tradition

  • For the purposes of art ministry bringing the heart of the matter into conversation with Christian themes of Creation, Sin, Grace, and Salvation would make sense. However there may be times when another source might be added to contextualize the reflection.

Find correlations and identify new truths

  • Bring the source materials together and locate areas of relationship and new meanings

Articulate the takeaway

  • For the purpose of art ministry, the take away is a translation of the feelings and images the group has identified. Throughout the season, it is hoped the art created from the image will resonate with the community and new truths and meanings will emerge.
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