Spring 2012 featured the Henri Nouwen Lecture in Classical Christian Spirituality on February 27th with guest lecturer Enuma Okoro, author of The Reluctant Pilgrim, and the Korean Caucus Lecture on March 20th with guest speaker Dr. Joonki Kim, author of a creativity book in Korean “회사에서 인정받는 창의성”, which can be loosely translated, “Creativity that gets recognized.” Common to these talks was an exploration of the roles that various art forms and creativity play in deepening our spiritual and intellectual growth.
Enuma Okoro honored Nouwen’s love of the arts in her lecture, “By Way of Paint and Pen: The Arts as a Medium for Spiritual Formation,” in which she described the ways in which the artist, both in the struggle and the beauty of mimicking God’s creative work, serves as an avenue for a deepening encounter with the holy. This encounter is an expanding invitation to know God in the most mundane rhythms and circumstances. Henri Nouwen’s life was a continual witness to the work of hearing God’s reverberating voice amidst the noise of a broken world. Honest and open with his challenges, humbly perceptive in his discernment of spirits, and a lover of knowledge that leads to life, Nouwen continues to challenge us to seek after the holy in ways that stretch out hearts, minds and imaginations, quite often in ways that seem both subversive and irrelevant. Enuma Okoro spoke of these challenges and illustrated entryways into a deeper spirituality through art.
In his lecture, “Creativity Exercise,” Dr. Joonki Kim presented personality traits, creative thinking, creativity processes, and exercises to help develop personal creativity. He hopes to encourage Koreans to develop and use their creativity to compete better in the world. Dr. Kim is a computer scientist with 24 years of experience with IBM, and 11 years at Samsung. Since November, 2009, he has been writing a monthly column for a New York edition of JoonAngIlBo, the Korean Newspaper, on various topics on creativity.
For both lecturers, our creative work serves to deepen our encounter with God and enrich our experience of the world. These lectures provided fresh inroads for exploring and uncovering new facets of our spirits and intellects. We look forward to 2012-2013 when Drew Theological School will offer additional lecture opportunities for continued growth and learning.
–Nancy VanderVeen, Director, Theological Lifelong Learning