Burning Man 2015

From August 30 to September 7, nearly 70,000 spiritually-hungry people gathered in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. We journeyed to learn more about this community and sought to be a light to those looking for something greater.

Burning Man

Seven years ago, Wheaton College Professor Rick Richardson first visited Burning Man, a temporary city set up in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. He found it to be a place where New Age artists come to create masterpieces, find community, and seek spiritual encounters.

For the past few years, Rick, accompanied by Beth Seversen and a small team have attended Burning Man in the hopes of better understanding this community of spiritually-seeking individuals while also being present to pray for and walk alongside those who yearn for deeper conversation.

In the past, Rick and Beth taught an elective (EVAN 650 Cultural Hermeneutic Practicum to Burning Man) in the Wheaton Graduate School. A number of the eight students who took the course now work for Wheaton College or are missionaries overseas. During the course, the students spent mornings at Burning Man studying cultural exegesis and afternoons doing evangelism ministry. Afterwards, students wrote a final paper on exegeting an artifact or cultural product of Burning Man.

This year, Rick, Beth, and their small research team went to Burning Man to research two primary case studies: one on Freedom Lounge (a Christian ministry at Burning Man) and one on Sacred Spaces (a space for emerging and eclectic spiritualities). 

Their hope was that by comparing contrasting spaces - Freedom Lounge and Sacred Spaces - they wilwould answer two research questions:

  1. What are the emerging spiritualities that are beginning to replace Christian faith in the West for the dechurched and unchurched?
  2. Who is reaching people with those spiritualities, and how are they doing it?

Stay tuned for more on what they discovered and their time there.

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