Is there such a thing as a Christian imagination? Is it just a private matter or does it have a public role? In what ways is it shaped by biblical and theological teaching? How does it relate to our experience of reality – a world of beauty and brokenness, of glory and degradation? And is it capable of challenging and re-shaping that reality?
This course explores creativity and the imagination in the light of an ancient practice of the Church. In the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, the minister marks the believer’s head with a cross of ashes and says, ‘Remember that you are dust’. It reminds Christians that they are creatures made in the image of God, that they live in solidarity with a fallen world, and that their hope of glory is cross-shaped. Our discussion of the creative imagination will focus on this powerful Ash Wednesday statement about the human condition.
As well as lectures and discussions there will also be opportunity for direct engagement with a number of different art forms, presentations by working artists, and the student’s own exercise of the creative imagination – which will culminate in making and sharing with the class some work of their own.