2018: A Year of Connecting with Culture
For the past 51 weeks, we’ve been dropping by your inbox every Friday seeking to deliver short, insightful cultural reflections.
We’ve tried, through ‘double listening’ – to the Word and to the world – to draw attention to and reflect on what we as Christians can affirm, the situations or artefacts we need to constructively criticise, and the items that merit attention because they’ve caught the public’s eye… all in just 400 words.
Some weeks have been harder than others, but as I look back over this year’s Connecting with Culture pieces, I am pleased to see the breadth and depth of the topics we’ve engaged with, and the comments that some of the pieces have provoked. Here’s a roundup of our top five pieces of 2018…
We kicked off the year with Mark Greene’s encouraging reflection on Star Wars’ latest offering, as he considered how the series has constantly recognised the transcendent; one of the few blockbuster franchises to do so.
Then, in our most read piece of the year, Jo Swinney considered the ‘problem’ of unprecedented numbers of millennials shunning sex, and what it might say about this generation’s values, concerns, and inhibitions.
The day after England exited the world cup, Neil Hudson continued to celebrate BBC Coach of the Year Gareth Southgate’s remarkable ability to create a team and draw the best out of people with ‘Leadership Lessons in a Waistcoat’.
The amount of secondary media generated by ITV2’s Love Island meant that it was an obvious topic for a Friday email – and instead of offering the critique you might expect, we tried to say something a little different. You can read my reflections on it here.
And finally, in October, Professor John Wyatt wrote us an impassioned and pastoral plea for a return to a way of dying that avoids over-medicalisation. He argued – in line with his latest book, Dying Well – that today’s western culture has a problem with the way we deal with death. This piece includes a link to download his talk from our event in October.
2018 has included much to mourn and much to pray for, but also much to celebrate, much to thank God for, and much to learn from. We hope and pray that this year’s Connecting with Culture pieces have helped you do just that… and 2019’s will seek to do the same.