Changing the Metaphor:
From Culture Wars to Culture Care

Birthed and crafted by Makoto Fujimura, director of Fuller’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, “Culture Care” is a movement toward renewal born from the integration of his art and his Christianity. An alternative to “culture wars,” it is a philosophy that offers the creation and conservation of beauty as antidote to cultural brokenness, and champions cultural generativity in public life. Furthered by the International Arts Movement, which Mako founded in 1991, and now by the Brehm Center as well, the thesis of Culture Care affirms that beauty is vital to “soul care,” offering a vision of the power of artistic generosity to inspire, edify, and heal the church and culture.

“Culture Care is a thesis for the thoughtful stewardship of culture that we seek to bring to the theological, spiritual, and cultural formation we offer at Fuller Seminary,” says Fujimura, “as well as to catalyze its principles beyond our walls.”

Learn more about Mako and how to study with him

Exploring Culture Care


Fuller Seminary's Brehm Center has hosted two significant events in 2016 to further the conversation on Culture Care. In April, California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia visited the Pasadena campus to share his poetry and discuss his work with the National Endowment for the Arts. As Gioia entered into conversation with Brehm Center director Mako Fujimura, the role of poetry in Culture Care—bringing beauty, life, and healing to cultural brokenness—became clear to all in attendance.

"My job in Washington with the NEA was not fighting for the arts but reconciliation," Gioia said, reflecting on his initiatives to empower war veterans with creative writing and perform Shakespeare plays in all 50 states. Following his discussion with Fujimura, Gioia offered an impassioned and moving recitation of his own poetry. As Eugene Peterson has said, "Poets tell us what our eyes, blurred with too much gawking, and our ears, dulled with too much chatter, miss around and within us. Poets use words to drag us into the depth of reality itself." Gioia’s words do just this and are a gift to all.

Earlier, in March 2016, scholars and artists from around the world convened at Fuller for an inaugural summit on Culture Care, reflecting together on what it means to care for culture in its many dimensions. Sponsored by the Brehm Center and led by Edwin Willmington, director of the Fred Bock Institute of Music and Fuller’s composer-in-residence, and Mako Fujimura, the summit created much-needed space for practicing artists and theologians to come together and look more deeply at Culture Care in philosophy and practice.

Audio and video recordings of these conversations are available on FULLER studio. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out about these offerings and more.

Further Resources

Introduction from Mako Fujimura book on generativity in public life
Receive an instant, free download of this introduction to Culture Care from Mako Fujimura

Worship: voices across diverse disciplines reflect on the creative work of Christian worship—read now

The City: explore this collection of insights into caring for our communities and our neighborhoods


Embody culture care by being immersed in—and thereby understanding—new cultural settings. Learn more

Learn more about the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts and its institutes that focus on music and on film.
(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182