Baptist Churches and Performative Arts Building a Theological Case for an Unlikely Friendship in Mission

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Henrikas Žukauskas


This article presents a case for looking at the relationship of art and mission from a Baptist perspective, especially focusing on performative or performing arts. I explore the possibility that the relationship of arts and mission is not an addition to the normal way of doing mission that can be considered or not, but rather reveals something fundamental and necessary. This attempt begins by juxtaposing two twentieth-century theologians, one a French Catholic, Yves Congar, and one an American Baptist, James Wm McClendon Jr. By focusing on Congar’s thoughts about how to engage modern unbelief and McClendon’s ideas of mission and university, I will bring forth a correlation. Following this I will turn to my own missionary context, post-Soviet Lithuania and the arts scene of our post-totalitarian society as a third conversation partner. Would a developed relation between performative arts and the theology of the Holy Spirit bring some necessary insights for mission in a post-Soviet context?

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