- Slides: 30
The Catholic Imagination: Ever Ancient, Ever New Dr. Kevin Vaughan The Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies The College of St. Scholastica
“Our Lady of the Way” Berlinghiero of Lucca, (ca 1230) Hodegetria St. Luke
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination (sherirut ) of their evil heart. ” (Jer. 3: 17)
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations (dialogismois ), and their foolish heart was darkened. ” (Rom. 1: 21)
Nathan confronts David: 2 Samuel 12: 1 -13
David’s Sin: 2 Samuel 11 Adultery with Bathsheba Murder of Uriah
Nathan’s Strategy • Tells a story: “In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. ” • David as a passive observer: “Tell me how you judge this case” • David’s active engagement: “David grew very angry with that man” • Nathan’s accusation: “You are the man!”
David’s Response David repents! David imaginatively inhabits the story Sees himself from a new paradigm of perspective Beyond limits of lust, power and privilege To the dignity of those he has wronged “Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me. For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me. ” (Psalm 51: 4 -5)
Power of the Imagination Consciousness and conduct Constantly imagining ourselves and our environment “the heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination” (Grammar of Assent, p. 92) Parables of Jesus
Charles Taylor (b. 1931)
Social Imaginaries “the way ordinary people ‘imagine’ their social surroundings, and this is often not expressed in theoretical terms, it is carried in images, stories, legends, etc. ” (A Secular Age, p. 172)
Social Imaginaries Common understandings Common expectations Sense of how we fit together
Catholic Imagination Catholic Church Shared beliefs and practices God, self, others and nature Incarnational Redemptive Sacramental Communal
Rise of the Secular Imagination How did we become a secular society? How did unbelief become such a powerful option?
Premodern Imagination “Enchanted” worldview Openness to transcendent meaning
Gaelic Kindling Prayer I will kindle my fire this morning In the presence of the holy angels of heaven. . . Without malice, without jealousy, without envy, Without fear, without terror of any one under the sun, But the Holy Son of God to shield me.
God kindle Thou in my heart within A fire of love to my neighbour, To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all, To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall, O Son of the loveliest Mary, From the lowliest thing that liveth, To the name that is highest of all.
Secular Imaginary Constructing meaning with no reference to the divine or transcendent
Secular Imaginary “buffered” self Autonomous and isolated Disenchantment Meaning in the mind, not things Individualism Individual motivation, not communal
Pastoral Questions Personal Faith Formation Evangelization Education Arts & Culture