DYA 2014 is in full swing with today’s theme of Creation. Throughout our day we focused a great deal on the Biblical Account of Creation as recorded in Genesis 1-2:4a.
Dr. Anathea Portier-Young lead our Academic Lecture; Creation As: Narrative, Art, Poetry & Myth. Early in the discussion, she lifted up the fact that a reader’s previously held expectations of specific genres shape the expectations they bring to texts. This understanding is not different when considering Biblical texts. Students were encouraged to share their definitions of the myth and narrative genres. Dr. Portier-Young then provided insight into the Hebrew Poetry genre, including the artful structure of the genre and its regular use of parallelism, metaphor, and repetition.
Continuing in her lecture, she posed a poignant question, “Is there space in our faith to incorporate new insights?” This excellent question challenged our students to think through the process of reconciling science and creation; can they be reconciled? Should they be reconciled? The lecture ended with looking specifically at Genesis 1:26, and its inclusion of the word, “dominion.” Dr. Portier-Young did an excellent job of taking us on a literary journey to help frame our understanding of the term. Looking at other uses of the term including texts in Leviticus and Ezekiel she landed on the thought that, at least in part, God granted humanity with dominion, but that it should never be used in harshness and it comes with great responsibility.
Our day moved from lecture to our Worship Workshop, which provided an overview of exegesis, Biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, and elements of Biblical Text Analysis. Students worked in groups to creatively engage a number of texts. Some groups chose to read their texts in strange places, including the Divinity Café’ and a nearby construction site while others chose to read theirs in dramatic ways using a number of voice inflections, tones, etc. This form of reading creativity was also used in our Evening Worship. Two students provided a dramatic reading of Genesis 1-2:4a for our Old Testament Lesson. Their voices commingled the words of Genesis 1 and James Weldon Johnson’s poetic account. The presentation drew us into the worship service in an exciting way; as it was certainly a blessing to see and hear!
Our students had a full day dealing with God’s awesome work of creation. They were invited to learn new things and in some ways challenge their thinking. After hearing some of their questions and speaking with students throughout the day, I certainly believe they accepted their invitations to contemplate a doctrine of creation and a life of creativity more deeply.
By Terra L. Epps
You can catch a glimpse of our evening worship service together at the download link here. (https://www.sendspace.com/file/e9fgwh) Check back in with us tomorrow when we explore the magnificence of Christ.