This book explores the vital role of the imagination in today's complex climates--cultural, environmental, political, racial, religious, spiritual, intellectual, etc. It asks: What contribution do the arts make in a world facing the impacts of globalism, climate change, pandemics, and losses of culture? What wisdom and insight, and orientation for birthing hope and action in the world, do the arts offer to religious faith and to theological reflection?
These essays, poems, and short reflections--written by art practitioners and academics from a diversity of cultures and religious traditions--demonstrate the complex cross-cultural nature of this conversation, examining critical questions in dialogue with various art forms and practices, and offering a way of understanding how the human imagination is formed, sustained, employed, and expanded. Marked by beauty and wonder, as well as incisive critique, it is a unique collection that brings unexpected voices into a global conversation about imagining human futures.
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About the Author
Rod Pattenden is an adjunct fellow with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
What People are Saying About This
“This is an extraordinarily energetic—and imaginative!—collection of essays and artistic initiatives. It is, in multiple senses, a collection ‘for our time,’ and opens up a range of fresh futures for the ever-growing interchange between theology and the arts.”
—Jeremy Begbie, Duke University
“Rising phoenix-like from a COVID-19-canceled conference, Imagination in an Age of Crisis is a collection of fine essays, poems, reflections, visual artworks, and more responding to the sort of questions that have been playing on our minds. Are the arts a luxury we can ill afford in a time of pandemic? What role does imagination play in building hope? . . . This is a book to be savored, shared, and discussed. All that is missing is the soundtrack!”
—Jane Foulcher, Charles Sturt University
“This impressive collection ranges widely in its offering of imaginative responses to threat and suffering. Some deeply affecting presentations of poetry and visual art are set alongside more conventional theological reflection on figures as diverse as Samuel Beckett and Ai Weiwei, or Aboriginal art and African American folk religion. Best digested gradually, it provides a rich feast of insights along the way.”
—David Brown, University of St Andrews
“This remarkable collection of pieces succeeds in showing how imagination can create alternative modes of living and being at a time of crisis. Jason Goroncy's opening contribution, claiming a place for revelation, or ‘fresh vision,’ in both art and theology, impressively sets the tone for what follows, where the editors skillfully bring together practitioners and theorists to demonstrate convincingly how imagination is formed and offers hope for our future.”
—Paul Fiddes, University of Oxford
“Goroncy and Pattenden have assembled a remarkable collection of reflections on the power of the imagination to instill hope and meaning in disturbing times. . . . This volume is a breath of fresh air. It will leave the reader with an abiding sense of what it means to be a human being in a world beloved of God.”
—Stephen Pickard, Charles Sturt University