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The Makers "Imagine" Weekend with James K. A. Smith

The Weekend of Friday, February 27th through Sunday March 1st will be our Imagine Weekend with Dr. James K. A. Smith, opening with the Makers Series Friday evening and including events at Third and around the city. Read below for details and links.


The Makers Series | Imagine 

When we think of art, artists, and creativity, we almost always consider the imagination to be a key component of what artists do, and who they are. It’s not uncommon to hear that a fertile and vivid imagination is what sets “creatives” apart from the rest of us, even more than skills honed by years of practice at a craft; and the ability to come up with something new is especially prized in our culture of digital, virtual consumption. Where once imagination was also seen as something that could “run away” from reality, and was critiqued for confusing the real and he merely “pretend,” today creativity and imagination are strongly and positively associated with novelty and invention—of making and thinking things that never were before, and might not ever actually exist at all.

But is the imagination only—for better or worse—aimed at flights of fancy or novelty, or might we de-couple creativity and innovation?  Is the imagination only a tool to make what has never been made before, or might the imagination be the key to understand what actually exists now, and what happened in the past, as well as what is in store for the future? Can the imagination help us see connections that are hidden in plain sight? Can the imagination guide us towards what is really real?  

 This edition of the Makers Series explores those questions through the lives and work of three makers for whom imagination provides the bridge between the already and the not yet: trumpeter Taylor Barnett composes and plays music that reveals connections between multiple genres and cultural traditions; medical illustrator Paul Gross uses multi-media artistry to help doctors, patients and their advocates see the human body in ways that imaging technology alone can not; and philosopher and cultural critic Jamie Smith proposes that what we imagine for the future shapes our concrete present. 

For full descriptions of our three Makers, click HERE.


Worship and Worldview Workshop with Jamie Smith

James K. A. Smith's Cultural Liturgies series makes the argument that the shape and patterns of historic Christian worship are critical means for spiritual and cultural formation.  On Saturday morning February 28th, worship leaders, musicians and other interested in the importance of worship practices that reflect ancient traditions yet are approritate and cogent for today's cultural moment will gather for a workshop and round-table discussion.

Click HERE for more on this event, hosted by our partners at Redemption Hill Church


Public Lecture by Jamie Smith, sponsored by VCU's Department of Philosophy

In collaboration with City Church and CommonGoodRVA, VCU's Department of Philosophy will be sponsoring and hosting another piece of our Imagine Weekend with James K. A. Smith.  On Saturday evening February 28th at 7:00 PM, Dr. Smith will give the inaugural lecture in VCU's new Philosophy and Public Affairs series.

In an age that has been declared post-Christian and fully secularized, religion is nevertheless a driving force in debates about public policy at home and abroad.  What role should Christians and other faith communities play in the public square?  Is the current state of affairs reason to build the separation between church and state higher, or begin to tear it down?  Might we understand secularism (and other -isms) as alternative religions that also make claims for our allegiance and consideration as we frame the ends of public policy as well as its means?  These and other issues will be on the table as Dr. Smith suggests it is time to "re-imagine" what we think of as the secular.

Click HERE for details and a map.


Sunday morning March 1st at Third Church

Dr. Smith will end his weekend in RVA with a full Sunday morning schedule at Third Church, preaching at the 9:00 AM Service, leading the last February Term Class at 10:15, and then preaching again at both 11:15 Services.  Even if you haven't made it to any of the other classes in the "Desires: Who and What Do You Love?" series, consider coming to this one (and inviting friends). Also consider getting there a bit early to grab a good seat!