Vision, Mental Imagery and the Christian Life: Insights from Science and Scripture, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Vision, Mental Imagery and the Christian Life

Insights from Science and Scripture, 1st Edition

By Zoltán Dörnyei​


216 pages

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pub: 2019-07-09
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This book uniquely explores how the notion of vision is presented in modern science and the Bible, and how it can be applied to contemporary Christian contexts. The word "vision", our ability to see, has been described by an increasing body of scholarship in the social sciences as our capacity for mental imagery and imagination. As such, this unique cognitive capability has been utilised in many fields for a variety of purposes, from arts and psychotherapy to politics and business management, and even for performance enhancement in sports.

The current book argues that a better understanding of vision can have far-reaching practical implications for Christian life and ministry by helping people to align themselves with God’s specific purposes. After a theoretical overview that integrates scientific and theological insights, the final chapters present a variety of strategies that can help believers to discern God’s call through the use of mental imagery and then to develop and cultivate the perceived vision.

The book examines the scientific and biblical principles of vision in a comprehensive manner, with a special emphasis on the practical implications of the issue. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars of Theology, Biblical Studies and Church Growth/Leadership, as well as Organisational Behaviour, Business Management and Psychology.


"Zoltán Dörnyei is one of the most formidable researchers I know. In this characteristically fascinating book he traverses a number of usually distinct intellectual worlds to offer us an account of vision which is rich, inspiring and also practical. I can think of no one else who could bring together neuro-science, social science, business and theology into a work so useful and interesting as this one."

Karen Kilby, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University, UK

"In this book, Zoltán Dörnyei offers a masterful multifaceted exploration of vision through the prism of his cross-disciplinary expertise in science and theology. Substantial, insightful, and practice oriented, this seminal work is essential reading for anyone wanting to more fully understand and experience the power of vision in Christian life and ministry."

Carolyn Kristjánsson, PhD, CEC, Trinity Western University, Canada

"We are living in times when many people, both individually and collectively, are seeking purpose in their lives and are longing to discern a vision for a more hopeful future. By bringing together two distinctive lines of inquiry across the social sciences and theology, this book represents a new kind of scholarship, one that reaches imaginatively across these disciplines while at the same time offering concrete practical proposals to any community compelled to respond to vision in action."

Maggie Kubanyiova, Professor of Language Education, University of Leeds, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Nature and Significance of Vision

1. Vision and mental imagery in science

2. Applications of Vision in the Social Sciences

3. Vision in Scripture

4. The Essence of Biblical Vision

5. The Vulnerability and Authentication of Divine Vision

6. Cultivated Vision, Ignatian Spirituality and Vision-led Ministry

7. Vision in the Christian life I: Discerning God’s Call

8. Vision in the Christian Life II: Cultivating the Perceived Vision

Conclusion: Becoming a “Visionary” Christian

About the Author

Zoltán Dörnyei is Professor of Psycholinguistics in the School of English, University of Nottingham (UK). During the past three decades he has published over 100 academic papers and 25 books on various aspects of the psychology of second language acquisition. Parallel to his main job, Zoltán has also undertaken training in theology: he obtained an MA in biblical interpretation and a second PhD in Theology at Durham University (UK). His publications in this area include Christian Faith and English Language Teaching and Learning (2013, New York: Routledge; with M. Wong and C. Kristjánsson) and Progressive Creation and the Struggles of Humanity in the Bible: A Canonical Narrative Interpretation (2018, Eugene, OR: Pickwick).

About the Series

Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

The Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. This open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field. With specialist focus yet clear contextual presentation of contemporary research, books in the series take research into important new directions and open the field to new critical debate within the discipline, in areas of related study, and in key areas for contemporary society.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Biblical Studies / General
RELIGION / Christian Life / General
RELIGION / Christian Theology / General
RELIGION / Christianity / General
RELIGION / Leadership
RELIGION / Psychology of Religion
RELIGION / Theology
RELIGION / Religion & Science
RELIGION / Christian Church / General