Nature photographer David Foster joined Pendle Hill this month and will be with us for ten weeks as our new Minnie Jane Artist-in-Residence Scholar for 2015. Below is David’s statement of intent for his residency:
I seek to deepen my arts ministry through studying the research and practice in the spiritual, emotional and physical healing power of nature-based art. Using the internet and other resources, I will focus attention on exploring the growing body of knowledge about the healing impact of nature-based art in an array of settings. I will work with this knowledge to better inform how I prepare and share my collection of nature-base photographs to enhance their healing presence.
I have repeatedly heard people say that they feel closest to God or Spirit when out in nature. I have had this experience myself. Through study, worship, conversation with others in the Pendle Hill community, and other means, I will explore how this can be recreated or augmented in various ways through access to nature images in indoor spaces.
My ongoing quest is to search out and convey through photographic images the wonder and beauty of the natural world. I believe that these images can deepen viewers connection to Spirit and inspire a more centered and grounded moment of engagement. I will further develop my collection of nature images by having regular times for photographing at Pendle Hill, at Longwood Gardens and other local venues that will be burgeoning with the beauty of spring. I will then prepare those that rise to the top for printing, and share the results with the community in appropriate ways. I will also discern how I am lead to share this work in other Quaker settings and in other types of healing environments. — David Foster, 2015
Timothy Peat Ashworth joins us from Birmingham, UK as our 2014-2015 Kenneth L. Carroll Scholar for Biblical and Quaker Studies. While he is with us, Tim will be working on a book manuscript that is currently titled The Christian Compromise. This book seeks to clarify the transformative nature of very early Christian experience, and to show how this radical quality became obscured as Jesus was increasingly seen as divine. Bringing several strands of recent biblical scholarship together to give a much clearer picture of the liberating effect that Jesus had both before and after his death, Tim will chart the dramatic reduction of that effect through the later documents of the New Testament and the Roman Empire’s conversion and taming of the wider Christian Church. Tim hopes the reader of his book will be enabled to appreciate both the nature of Jesus’ liberating impact and its concealment. Through this understanding, the reality of the human spiritual potential that Jesus revealed through his radical faithfulness to God comes into clearer focus.