Fantasy and the Scriptural Imagination

Date
2020
Authors
Gostomski, Claire
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Worldwide access
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Abstract

Christians are surrounded by a surplus of imaginative stimuli, yet the majority are unaware of the rich theological tradition of the imagination in Christian scholarship. Many Christians who earnestly desire to glorify God with their minds and the meditations of their hearts hold unnecessary trepidation toward fiction, especially in the mode of fantasy. Drawing from texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Edmund Gosse, I aim to demonstrate why Christians should invest in intentional cultivation of scriptural imagination. By tracing the scholarship of scriptural imagination from the church fathers all the way to Tolkien, I will develop the position that it is not only possible but desirable for Christians to engage fantasy fiction for the benefit of their hearts, souls, and minds. I also offer reassurance to wary readers by laying to rest a few of the most central Christian concerns regarding the fantasy genre.

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Keywords
Fantasy., Imagination., Theology., J.R.R. Tolkien., Scriptural imagination., Christian imagination., Christian fantasy., Fiction.
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