Zeitgeist – the spirit of the age – what is it? How is it formed, how does it shape us? How can we think clearly about it?
This new group aims to nurture a new generation of Christian cultural influencers and apologists by tracing the origins, realities, and future of the spirit of the age and by learning practices of both prophetic insight and of ‘double listening’ (both to the Word, in Scripture, and the World, in present day media, news, and events).
The group is for those with an interest in the intersections of culture and society. Participants should have an appetite for learning more about contemporary culture, a desire to articulate a Biblical response to the questions of our times, and a commitment to think through the categories and questions that will help others to unlock their own understanding.
We will focus on four main areas:
Exploring the key issues that shape culture, including; the transition to a new consciousness; the life-cycle of an idea; core human needs; what is driving transition; the new media and technology
Nurturing a skill-set to ‘understand the times’ we live in (through art, media, film, modern iconography, etc) and perceive the dominant philosophical expressions
Developing a Biblical response to the dominant cultural ideas to perceive and enact better points of intersection and points of distinction between the two
Learning to ask better questions of our own culture as well as learning to articulate Biblical truth with relevance and traction in the societies we live in across Europe and Eurasia
‘Cultural Influencers’ will give you time to step back from the immediate and the pressing, to consider the wider picture. The group will also help to give you a language to grapple with the reality in which you find yourself. It will be a time for honest discussion, real questions about our faith and life, informal dialogue, as well as more formal sessions and presentations.
This will be a discussion-based course with guided reading, film watching and visits to art galleries. The group will support participants to explore opportunities for discussion and paper presentation on key ‘zeitgeist’ issues in their home context and workplaces.
We will ask questions of how these trends influence our view of reality, knowledge, sexuality, transcendence and other areas, in order to prepare the emerging generation of Christian adults to navigate these questions and the undercurrents of culture. Together, we will develop our understanding of how to live with biblical hope and influence in our world. For a look at some of the ideas we will cover, visit http://www.citygate.org/new-idea
Marsh Moyle, of CityGate UK, will be leading the teaching. Marsh also works alongside L’Abri in Hampshire, and previously worked in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War and in the Post-Communist period. He has over four decades of experience teaching Christian graduates and professionals across Western and Eastern Europe.
Marsh approaches this course with a wealth of reading and thinking, and with many questions. He will chart a course to help us understand our times and the dominant questions from our individual contexts. For example: What does it mean to be human? How can we ‘know’ with a measure of confidence? What is causing the polarisation & anger in our age?We will look at the trends of ‘nominal’ naturalism, hyper-individualism, and utilitarianism that are now the instinctive worldviews in Europe.
The group of 12-16 people will meet six times over three years. Participants should commit to all six meetings, and to supporting each other through peer mentoring groups, as well as reading and discussion, in between meetings. It should be a learning community.
Meeting 2: 21-24 November 2019
Meeting 3: 14-17 May 2020
Both meetings 2 and 3 will take place at EC Begegnungs-und Bildungszentrum in Woltersdorf (near Berlin), Germany.
To apply to join this group, please register below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: Photograph taken by Tim Vickers painting at the Berlinerische Galerie, Alte Jakobstr Berlin