"The Eyes of Your Heart"

Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically

By Alison Searle

Foreword by Luke Ferretter

"The Eyes of Your Heart"

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  • ISBN: 9781606086025
  • Pages: 250
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $31.00
Web Price: $24.80
Web Price: $24.80

"The Eyes of Your Heart"

Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically

By Alison Searle

Foreword by Luke Ferretter

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781606086025
  • Pages: 250
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $31.00
Web Price: $24.80

About-

This book develops a theory of imagining biblically that explores the contributions scripture can make to a new way of thinking about creativity, reading, interpretation, and criticism. The methodology employed in order to demonstrate this thesis consists of a theoretical exploration of current theological understandings of the "imagination" and their implications within the fields of literary studies. The biblical texts locates the function generally defined as "imagination" in the heart ("the eyes of your heart," Ephesians 1:18). This book assesses what the biblical text as a literary and religious document contributes to the concept of "imagination." Due to the eclectic nature of the individual books that comprise the scriptural canon, the text is considered primarily in terms of its overarching metanarrative, language, genres, and theological propositions. Tracing the various trajectories the biblical text opens up and the ways in which they intersect with and modify post-Romantic assumptions about the imagination reconfigures traditional definitions of this concept. A Calvinistic, evangelical hermeneutic is deployed to establish a theoretical concept of what it means to "imagine biblically." This is further substantiated by a comparative study of authors ranging from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries (John Bunyan, Samuel Rutherford, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and C. S. Lewis). Each author's chapter incorporates a close reading of a key text which concretely examines various trajectories of imagining biblically, including creativity, faith, morals, narrative, Romanticism, and eschatology. The conclusion returns to the biblical text and draws these elements together, with a definition of the concept of imagining biblically and its implications for literary studies.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"The present book is as close to an exhaustive survey of the many relationships between the biblical texts and the theory of the imagination as we have at present. It will be many years before this ceases to be the most authoritative work in the field."
--Luke Ferretter is Assistant Professor in the English Department, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

"Argued with intellectual rigor, this book reappropriates the possibilities of the biblical imagination for the Christian tradition. Focusing on authors who were committed to the view that their Christian belief undergirded the intellectual and emotional dimensions of their imaginative worlds, this book reclaims imagination from the world of aesthetics and wordplay to which much recent literary criticism has confined it."
--Elisabeth Jay is Director of the Institute of Historical and Cultural Research and Associate Dean , School of Arts and Humanities, Oxford Brooks University, UK

"Alison Searle's The Eyes of Your Heart is a fresh and provocative contribution to the particularly challenging field of the biblical imagination. With her eyes fixed firmly on discovering what it means to imagine biblically, Dr. Searle charts her own steady path through the tangled jungle of theoretical approaches to the subject to arrive at a coherent and transferable understanding of the biblical imagination. One of this book's great virtues is its detailed exploration of what it means to imagine biblically across a temporally and stylistically diverse range of works by Bunyan, Rutherford, Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and C. S. Lewis. Dr. Searle's refreshing literary analysis combine with incisive probing of key theoretical tropes to produce a new understanding of imagining biblically that is more robust and satisfying than mere aesthetic theory."
--Liam Semler is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Sydney, Australia

Contributors-

Alison Searle
Luke Ferretter

Bio(s)-

Alison Searle is a postdoctoral research associate on the James Shirley Project at Anglia Ruskin University. Her research interests include seventeenth-century British literature, transatlantic Puritan literary traditions, theories of the imagination, the relationship between literature and theology, and the epistolary genre. She has published on William Shakespeare, Samuel Rutherford, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, Jane Austen, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Bronte, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

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