Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Fujimura, Makoto. Culture Care : Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life. Downers Grove. IL: IVP, 2017.

The emotions that many contemporary artists think of as authentic are negative such as anger, sadness, guilt, apathy, despair, anxiety, etc. The artists rarely ask whether love or happiness could be true human experiences that could be portrayed with authenticity. They are unable to connect with what makes life worth living. As an artist, I admit that I did so, too. Now, Makoto Fujimura in this compelling book helps us open our eyes to the gravity of beauty, the one that heals our souls and culture today.

Culture care is to provide care for our culture's soul.... Culture care restores beauty as a seed of invigoraiton into the ecosystem of culture. Such care is generative: a well-nurtured culture becomes an environment in which people and creativity thrive (22).

A Christian understanding of beauty begins with the recognition that God does not need us, or the creation. Beauty is a gratuitous gift of the creator God; it finds its source and its purpose in God's character. God, out of his gratuitous love, created a world he did not need because he is an artist...even if we would agree that beauty is not necessary to our daily survival, it is still nevevssary for our flourishing. Our sense of beauty and our creativity are central to what it means to be made in the image of a creative God. The satisfaction in beauty we feel is connected deeply with our reflection of God's character to create and value gratuity. It is part of our human nature. This is why our soul hungers for beauty.