Imagine the Real: Teaching with Asian Christian Art in the Theological Classroom

  • Su-Chi Lin Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA


This essay demonstrates a transcultural model of interaction by using Asian Christian art to create engaged learning environments. Through sensory responses to two Taiwanese women artists’ works, this essay presents an intercultural aesthetic conversation, through which Asian Christian art opens insight for enriching theological expressions, while constructing an inclusive and global vision of Asian Christianity. The theological aesthetics as the strategy of interlacing engagement allows the viewer to notice others and differences in the faith community producing and receiving of the art. Asian Christian art thus has the capacity to provide aesthetic experiences from multiple perspectives of adaptation and appropriation. Images from the “other” cultures not only come alive to interact with and speak to the viewer but also look directly to the viewer and demand a reply. This transformative pedagogy involved in approaching this particular cultural contact as well as an on-going dialogue with other types of cultural contact in between other cultures.