FULLER dialogues: Worship, Theology, and the Arts in a Divided World

+ David M. Bailey, founder and executive director of Arrabon, talks about the church’s role in the work of reconciliation, as well as the need for creating particular kinds of worship rooted in specific contexts.

+ The theme of the 2019 Brehm Conference, “Worship, Theology, and the Arts in a Divided World,” focused on how worship, theology, and the arts might be vehicles for reconciliation and forge unity across divides—whether political or economic, racial or relational, linguistic or cultural, in the academy or in the public square, inside the church or outside of it. David M. Bailey, founder and executive director of Arrabon, was the conference’s keynote speaker. The conference included lectures, conversations, worship and more, and was sponsored by the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.


+ Robert K. Johnston, professor of theology and culture, speaks about religious experience and the activity of the Holy Spirit in the wider world outside the church.

+ Roberta R. King, professor of communication and ethnomusicology, reflects on the potential that music and the performing arts have to foster interfaith dialogue and mutual relationship between different religious communities.

+ Alexis D. Abernethy, associate provost for faculty inclusion and equity and professor of psychology, explores the transformative effects of worship on body, spirit, and community.

+ Edwin M. Willmington, director of the Brehm Center’s Fred Bock Institute of Music, lectures on the problems of excluding children from Sunday worship and offers practical ways of welcoming them into the larger church community.

+ W. David O. Taylor, director of Brehm Texas and assistant professor of theology and culture, discusses the Curse Psalms as faithful articulations of anger and how they point the way to healing.

+ Todd E. Johnson, William K. and Delores S. Brehm Associate Professor of Worship, Theology, and the Arts, reflects on the misinterpretation of symbols and the importance of conversing with grace amidst misunderstanding and disagreement.

+ Kutter Callaway, assistant professor of theology and culture, meditates on faith, uncertainty, and how the atheistic vision might inform the Christian imagination.

He is joined by the Illumine Playback Theatre and January Lim, on violin.

+ Makoto Fujimura, director of Fuller’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, speaks about the importance of creating diversity in a divisive and polarized culture.

+ Shannon Sigler, executive director of Brehm Cascadia, urges churches to collaborate with their artists in creating welcoming, non-didactic spaces of worship and relationship for their communities.

+ Maria Fee, adjunct professor of theology and culture, shares about her experience of helping students explore theology through artistic discipline and the power art has to enable criticism through praxis.