Weekly Round-Up, January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015

There is so much good happening in the world of theology and the arts. At the end of each week, we'd like to share with you a few of the great things we've discovered this past week from around the internet.

Fuller Seminary will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its African American Church Studies Center this coming week and dedicate it as the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies. Dr. Pannell has been a member of the Fuller community since 1971, and the naming of the center for him honors his many contributions. Fuller Magazine ran a feature on Dr. Pannell earlier this year. The video about was part of it.

In 1968 a young William E. Pannell wrote a book about race relations within the church that was so candid even the publisher who commissioned the book was skittish about it. My Friend, the Enemy was an uncompromising statement on black-white relations that shook up the evangelical world—Bill’s included. It came from some place so deep in Bill that longtime white friends said they did not believe he wrote it. One insisted it was written by an outside agitator, because “that’s just not the Bill Pannell that I knew.” Both had grown up in the same small Michigan town, so Bill’s reply was harsh but true: “That’s because you didn’t know Bill Pannell,” he said, “or the world I lived in.” It was possible for a white person to call Bill a “close friend” and still know little of a black man’s life in a white world. Often white colleagues would say, “We never thought of you as a negro.” That, he says, was supposed to have been a compliment.

The Huffington Post's Katherine Brooks recently reached out on Twitter to find out why dancers dance. The resulting responses became part of a photographic exhibition on the Huffington Post's website. See the rest of them here.

By nature, dance is a wordless form of expression, translating emotions and thoughts into physical movements. But we wondered, is there a way to explain why we dance?

With all the recent controversy surrounding the 2015 Oscar's all-white nominations in its most prestigious categories, it's worthwhile to seek out some little-seen treasures from the film industries often pushed-aside filmmakers. Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust is just that kind of film, and The New Yorker's Richard Brody featured it as his "Movie of the Week" this past week. In addition to his writen thoughts, his feature includes a nice video essay on the film.

There’s nothing derivative about Dash’s work; every image, every moment is a full creation. And, for all its wonder, “Daughters of the Dust,” at two decades’ remove, packs a howl of loss for the world at large and for the movies that Dash should have been making since its release.

Speaking of films, Level Ground, an organization committed to using art to facilitate dialog about sexuality, is hosting their annual Pasadena Festival at the end of February. They released their program this week, and announced that all events are free and open to the public (though they also welcome donations from attendees). 

Speaking of things happening at the end of February, the Fuller Institute of Theology and Northwest Culture will host their annual [Trans]formation Conference at the end of February as well. Scheduled guests include Jars of Clay, Nancy Beach, Gregory Wolfe, and Jena Lee Nardella, among others.

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