Imagination in an Age of Crisis

Jason Goroncy and Rod Pattenden – this site’s editors – are thrilled to announce that they have a new book out.

Imagination in an Age of Crisis: Soundings from the Arts and Theology explores the vital role of the imagination in today’s complex climates – cultural, environmental, political, racial, religious, spiritual, intellectual, etc. It asks: What contribution do the arts make in a world facing the impacts of globalism, climate change, pandemics, and losses of culture? What wisdom and insight, and orientation for birthing hope and action in the world, do the arts offer to religious faith and to theological reflection?

These essays, poems, and short reflections – written by art practitioners and academics from a diversity of cultures and religious traditions – demonstrate the complex cross-cultural nature of this conversation, examining critical questions in dialogue with various art forms and practices, and offering a way of better understanding how the human imagination is formed, sustained, employed, and expanded.

The book has been well received, with Professor Jeremy Begbie (Duke University) describing it as an ‘extraordinarily energetic and imaginative collection’, while Professor Stephen Pickard (Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture) calls it a ‘remarkable collection of reflections on the power of the imagination to instil hope and meaning in disturbing times. … [A] breath of fresh air’.

The book has a strong range of contributions from the Australian context, as well as those from the Pacific, Asia, the United Kingdom, and the USA. It is an international collection with a common concern to celebrate and prize imagination for these times. A video review is provided by Rev Dr Jane Foulcher (Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University), along with an introduction by the editors:

Through 35 individual contributions, the book weaves its many conversations around the capacity of the imagination, and the arts in particular, to provide a means of cultural resilience, protest, questioning, and critique. It explores the work of a wide range of writers, playwrights, poets, musicians, and visual artists, to provide imaginative resources to articulate the challenges and the choices facing human beings in a world both drawn close and made distant through networks of disease, conflict, commerce, and culture.

The book is richly illustrated in colour with 39 images, including a stunning cover image by Filipino artist Emmanuel Garibay that graphically expresses the cultural collisions of our time. Another strong creative feature of the collection is the engagement provided by poets, including Petra White, Kevin Hart, Christian Wiman, Jordie Albiston, Pádraig Ó Tuama, and Michael Symmons Roberts. The result is a volume marked by beauty and wonder, as well as incisive critique. It is a unique collection that brings unexpected voices into a global conversation about imagining human futures.

Imagination in an Age of Crisis is available now at a special introductory price of 40% off. Use the code “Crisis40” at checkout through Wipf & Stock, or through customer service by phone (1-541-344-1528), or via email.

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