God and the Creative Imagination
Metaphor, Symbol and Myth in Religion and Theology
'A mere metaphor', 'only symbolic', 'just a myth' - these tell tale phrases reveal how figurative language has been cheapened and devalued in our modern and postmodern culture. In God and the Creative Imagination, Paul Avis argues the contrary: we see that actually, metaphor, symbol and myth, are the key to a real knowledge of God and the sacred. Avis examines what he calls an alternative tradition, stemming from the Romantic poets Blake, Wordsworth and Keats and drawing on the thought of Cleridge and Newman, and experience in both modern philosophy and science.
God and the Creative Imagination intriguingly draws on a number of non-theological disciplines, from literature to philosophy of science, to show us that God is appropriately likened to an artist or poet and that the greatest truths are expressed in an imaginative form.
Anyone wishing to further their understanding of God, belief and the imagination will find this an inspiring work.
Table of Contents
PART I 1 Speaking of God in the language of the imagination 2 The fate of the imagination in modernity 3 The fate of the imagination in postmodernity 4 Affirming the truth of imagination: The alternative tradition PART II 5 The world of biblical imagination 6 Creative theology and the making of doctrine 7 Imagination and the adventure of faith 8 Liturgy as literature PART III 9 Metaphor 10 Symbol 11 Myth PART IV 12 Critical realism 13 Symbolic realism 14 Mythic realism
'A clearly written book which is full of intriguing insights ... Avis has clearly read widely, listened carefully and thought deeply.' - Heythrop Journal
' engaging and thought provoking'
'Avis's style is fresh, precise and accessible'
'this affirmation of the creative imagination as crucial to understanding of God in religion and theology is full of good thingd, and can be warmly commended' - John Saxbee, Church Times
'offers not only sustained argument for his own views but also an excellent survey of the relevant terrain' - David Brown, The Expository Times
' Avis ia a marvellous collector of quaotations and prepares very helpful bibliographies. This work is a treasuary for those interested in the relationship between imagiantion and Christian belief' - Mark Oakley, Theology
'This is careful analysis, robust defence and a plea for a fresh was of seeing things.' - Jim Jones, Epworth Review