I usually do not have overly creative / artsy projects for my classes, but for my Acts class this semester I decided to have one assignment which allowed students to create an art project which describes some aspect of a city Paul visited. I gave a few suggestions, but the class responded well to the challenge and brought in some very interesting artifacts to class. Big thanks for Leslie Pumford for a Roman breakfast (fruit, “biscuit” and honey) and Shaun Winters for a tasty Roman dessert (dates and a nut-paste). It was nice to have something to much while looking at the projects, but sadly the Romans did not drink coffee until the time of Constantine (Antony Wild, Coffee: A Dark History, 299).
Joe Cappon did an excellent oil painting of Paul’s conversion, or possibly Saul’s calling (depending on your perspective). I am planning on hanging this on the wall in the Bible / Theology wing, so be sure to stop and see it after Spring Break.
Jason Magnusen created a model of Philippi, highlighting the Roman Cardo and public buildings. We also had a clay-model of the Ephesian theater (Katlynn, Rachel and Kimmy) and a diorama of Ephesian culture from Jessica Daughtery. Tony Alexander did a very nice job creating an model of the harbor in Caesarea in Blender. I wish he had the time to do the whole city, but the section he did was very well done. Cameron Myers and Bryce Stanhope teamed up to create a model of the Temple to Apollo at Corinth (below). This is a pretty cool model, although I am not sure what I am going to do with it now. I am thinking of using Lego-People and creating a video of the Riot at Ephesus, but then again, maybe not.
We had a variety of other creative presentations (travel guides to first century Corinth, etc.) There were a few scrolls describing Syrian Antioch (Jennifer Warner). I particularly liked Christyn Benjamin’s Postcards from John Mark. Very nicely done and they tell the story well.
Just so you know I have not gone completely soft on students, quite a few wrote traditional papers researching the history of one of cities visited by Paul. To be honest, when I was a student I would have failed at creativity, but I could write a paper. In class, Joe Johnson said that his research on first-century Athens was quite valuable for understanding Paul’s sermon in Acts 17.
I think everyone did a wonderful job, so thanks for making this first-ever experimental assignment a success. I am not sure how I follow this up in Pauline Lit next semester…abstract art which describes justification by faith?