Mockingbird is a remarkable ministry that connects the Christian faith creatively and gracefully to the realities of everyday life through conferences, publications, on-line resources, and an extraordinary blog that offers insightful commentary and analysis on every facet of contemporary culture. Its namesake is a bird that mimicks the calls of other birds, and Mockingbird is devoted to mimicking one call, God’s word of grace and forgiveness. Its director, David Zahl, and his colleagues and collaborators are close friends of ours at LIBERATE and contribute significantly to our on-line resources and the annual conference.
Mockingbird recently held its annual fall conference at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and I had the privilege of offering a break-out session on grace and modern art. In “Hearing The Scream: Edvard Munch, Modern Art, and Grace,” I interpreted the brokenness, pain, and death that is prevalent in the history of modern art through the theology of the cross and the distinction between law and gospel, suggesting that modern art, which is often shunned by Christian commentators, could be understood as a lament through paint.
The Mockingbird conference is much more than a conference. It is a disarmingly humble and gracious gathering of women and men, and as I learned first hand, to attend a Mockingbird conference is become a part of a family.
Mockingbird has now made available recordings of all the break-out sessions and the plenary addresses on their website from this fall conference. To find my discussion of grace and modern art, as well as talks on topics ranging from Seinfeld to human suffering, click here.
David Zahl, his father, Paul Zahl, and frequent Mockingbird contributor R-J Heijmen will all be at our 2013 LIBERATE conference, Grace in Practice, in February. After you sign up for our conference, register for Mockingbird’s annual spring conference in New York City, April 18-20.