Plan now to attend the 49th Atlantic Seminar in Theological Education!

When: June 11 - 16, 2017
Where: First United Church, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Theme: The Spirituality of Pop-Culture

'Culture' has been defined as the system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another.

Pop-culture has emerged in the past 70 years as one of the biggest influences on world-view. The turmoil of the 1960s launched a time of exploration both without and within. As people were exposed to the shifting priorities around them, they continued to search for 'truth' and meaning, and the claim was to be 'spiritual but not religious'.

Although religion and pop-culture may seem to be polar opposites, the two may indeed be competing sources from which contemporary society is shaping its sense of identity. Fans of any media ( film, television, Facebook, book series, etc) feel and act in a similar way to those having a religious commitment. We might say that religion pertains to the realm of ultimate meaning while pop-culture pertains to that which entertains and amuses us, however, if we look closer, religious themes and symbols are used liberally in pop-culture.

"If we react only to certain elements…without understanding the context within which the contents have meaning…we have not really understood the popular cultural context. We must see what is trying to be said through such images without necessarily approving of the way they are used." ( Ted Turnau 'Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective)

What can pop-culture teach us about faith and spirituality? How is our faith nurtured outside the traditional church? With what guidelines does the church evaluate pop-culture? Does religion compete with pop-culture to define moral and ethical behavior?

Popular culture is both a powerful and widespread influence, a touchstone for our deepest desires and aspirations. Contemporary studies on mass culture accept that popular culture forms do respond to widespread needs of the public. What are the spiritual/religious needs of the contemporary person and how are those needs being met by the church?

Is the church hoping that people will 'wake up' and return to church, or can the church wake up and listen to what pop-culture has to say to the church? Can we afford not to listen?

Join us as we explore this topic with our guest lecturers Jennifer Porter and David Bruce and with each other.

Guest Speakers

Worship Leaders: Valerie Kingsbury & Chris Bowman


Download the 2017 Brochure / Registration Form


View the 2017 seminar schedule.