A lushly illustrated, magisterial exploration of the imaginative truth of the gospel
In the modern academy, truth and imagination are thought to be mutually exclusive. But what if truth can spring from other fonts, like art, literature, and invention?
The legacy of the Enlightenment favors historical and empirical inquiry above all other methods for searching for truth. But this assumption stymies our theological explorations. Though the historicity of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection is important, it is not of sole importance. For instance, is John’s Gospel any less “true” than the Synoptics just because it’s less historically accurate?
David Brown challenges us to expand our understanding of the gospel past source criticism and historical Jesus studies to include works of imagination. Reading Scripture in tandem with works of art throughout the centuries, Brown reenvisions the gospel as an open text. Scholars of theology and biblical studies, freed from literalism, will find new avenues of revelation in Gospel as Work of Art. This volume includes over one hundred color illustrations.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction Part I: Foundations 1. Religious Control and the Spiritual Imagination 2. Meaning and an Open Text 3. Imagination and Truth in Theory and in Art 4. Truth in a Changing Narrative Part II: Resources Then and Now 5. Through Prayer and People 6. Mystical and Natural 7. Responding to Inherited Traditions Part III: Significance 8. Why a Gospel at All? 9. Layers of Revelation 10. Miracle as Symbol and Sign 11. Variety in Parable and Teaching 12. Death and the Exhaustion of Metaphor 13. The Resurrected Lord and the Spirit 14. The Openness of Faith
David William Brown, FRSE, FBA is an Anglican priest and British scholar of philosophy, theology, religion, and the arts. He has taught at the universities of Oxford, Durham, and St. Andrews.
Figure 4.7 erroneously shows an image of Edwina Sandys, Christa. The correct image—Peter Howson, Hades III—can be seen below.
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