Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Prester John

Expand Messages
  • Steve Hayes
    There was an interesting discussion in the Charles Williams list recently, on the topic of Prester John, sparked off by the following. ... To:
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 20, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      There was an interesting discussion in the Charles Williams list recently, on
      the topic of Prester John, sparked off by the following.

      ------- Forwarded message follows -------
      To: coinherence-l@yahoogroups.com
      From: Roy Laroya <rtlaroya@...>
      Date sent: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 20:18:19 -0800 (PST)
      Subject: [coinherence-l] Prestor John
      Send reply to: coinherence-l@yahoogroups.com

      Some time ago I had asked about Prestor John a character in "War in Heaven".
      Someone mentioned that there was a book titled "Prestor John" by John Buchan.
      I finally got around to reading it, but it is more about a distant relative
      rather than Prestor John himself. Does anyone know of any other books about
      Prestor John?

      ------- End of forwarded message -------

      Prester John is a quite prominent character in Williams's "War in heaven",
      but John Buchan's book "Prester John", as Roy says, has little on the
      character himself. Buchan's book has a lot more in common with another novel
      of Williams, "Shadows of ecstasy", in that both deal, at least in part, with
      a "native uprising" in colonial Africa.

      Another thing that they have in common is that each has as a character a
      black African clergyman. In Buchan's book, the clergyman is the villain of
      the story, and is also a caricature of a leader of an African independent
      church. Williams's clergyman character is much more true to life, and is an
      altogether more believable character.

      John Buchan was a British civil servant (he eventually became Governor-
      General of Canada), and was a member of Milner's Kindergarten, the group of
      bright young men recruited by Milner to help with reconstruction after the
      Anglo-Boer War (a war which Milner himself had started almost single-handed,
      rather like George Bush in the recent Iraqi-American War. Milner was the
      British High Commissioner for South Africa.

      Buchan's novel is set in the Transvaal Colony (a state which lasted exactly 8
      years, from 31 May 1902 to 31 May 1910, when it joined the Union of South
      Africa). The protagonist is a young Scottish manager of a country store who
      is recruited as a spy by a British intelligence agent. While the geography is
      fictitious, it is generally based on the region around Tzaneen, in what is
      now Mpumalanga Province.

      Buchan wrote several novels in the spy-story genre. I read several of them
      when I was at school, and "Prester John" was in fact a set-book when I was in
      primary school, perhaps as part of an intentional indoctrination in British
      imperialism. I recently tried to re-read another of his spy stories, "The
      thirty-nine steps". It had thrilled me when I was 11, but on rereading it as
      an adult I found it painfully boring, and never managed to finish it.

      "Prester John", however, was somewhat different. One of my continuing
      research interests is African Independent Churches (AICs), and Buchan's book
      is interesting for the light it throws on the attitudes of some colonial
      civil servants towards the African independent churches. "Ethiopianism" was
      seen as a threat, particularly after the Bambatha Rebellion in Zululand in
      1906, and Buchan's novel seems to have been written to sensationalise that.

      The discussion also moved me to once again upload my own attempt at writing a
      novel in the Charles Williams genre, called "The year of the dragon". It can
      be found in the Files section of the Neo-Inklings (Eldil) forum, and invite
      people to read it and comment on it, and give me some sort of critique.

      It too, has something in common with "Shadows of ecstasy" and "Prester John",
      in that one of the characters is a black African clergyman, though I hope
      less of a caricature than the one in "Prester John". I'd be particularly
      interested in comments from people who have read both those books.

      --
      Steve Hayes
      E-mail: shayes@...
      Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
      Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
      Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
      Fax: 086-548-2525
    • malcolmguite@ymail.com
      By coincidence I ve just yesterday finished reading Shadows of Ecstacy. What an extraordinary book, it is indeed something rich and strange! The sympathetic
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        By coincidence I've just yesterday finished reading Shadows of Ecstacy. What an extraordinary book, it is indeed something rich and strange! The sympathetic African in that story is in fact a King, rather than a clergyman, though his sense of Kingship is very sacerdotal. The Clergyman Caithness is also very well drawn and the scene where he wrestles, spiritually with the Magician Considine for the soul of the Zulu King is brilliant. Tho' I think the real heart of the book, certainly the part that interests me most, is its exploration of Imagination as a real power of the soul and of Love and Poetry as the focus and intensifier of that power. I am trying to develop a substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be reminded by Williams that even so great a gift as imagination, such an essential part of the Imago Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows. Strong stuff!
        Malcolm
        --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
        >
        > There was an interesting discussion in the Charles Williams list recently, on
        > the topic of Prester John, sparked off by the following.
        >
        > ------- Forwarded message follows -------
        > To: coinherence-l@yahoogroups.com
        > From: Roy Laroya <rtlaroya@...>
        > Date sent: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 20:18:19 -0800 (PST)
        > Subject: [coinherence-l] Prestor John
        > Send reply to: coinherence-l@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Some time ago I had asked about Prestor John a character in "War in Heaven".
        > Someone mentioned that there was a book titled "Prestor John" by John Buchan.
        > I finally got around to reading it, but it is more about a distant relative
        > rather than Prestor John himself. Does anyone know of any other books about
        > Prestor John?
        >
        > ------- End of forwarded message -------
        >
        > Prester John is a quite prominent character in Williams's "War in heaven",
        > but John Buchan's book "Prester John", as Roy says, has little on the
        > character himself. Buchan's book has a lot more in common with another novel
        > of Williams, "Shadows of ecstasy", in that both deal, at least in part, with
        > a "native uprising" in colonial Africa.
        >
        > Another thing that they have in common is that each has as a character a
        > black African clergyman. In Buchan's book, the clergyman is the villain of
        > the story, and is also a caricature of a leader of an African independent
        > church. Williams's clergyman character is much more true to life, and is an
        > altogether more believable character.
        >
        > John Buchan was a British civil servant (he eventually became Governor-
        > General of Canada), and was a member of Milner's Kindergarten, the group of
        > bright young men recruited by Milner to help with reconstruction after the
        > Anglo-Boer War (a war which Milner himself had started almost single-handed,
        > rather like George Bush in the recent Iraqi-American War. Milner was the
        > British High Commissioner for South Africa.
        >
        > Buchan's novel is set in the Transvaal Colony (a state which lasted exactly 8
        > years, from 31 May 1902 to 31 May 1910, when it joined the Union of South
        > Africa). The protagonist is a young Scottish manager of a country store who
        > is recruited as a spy by a British intelligence agent. While the geography is
        > fictitious, it is generally based on the region around Tzaneen, in what is
        > now Mpumalanga Province.
        >
        > Buchan wrote several novels in the spy-story genre. I read several of them
        > when I was at school, and "Prester John" was in fact a set-book when I was in
        > primary school, perhaps as part of an intentional indoctrination in British
        > imperialism. I recently tried to re-read another of his spy stories, "The
        > thirty-nine steps". It had thrilled me when I was 11, but on rereading it as
        > an adult I found it painfully boring, and never managed to finish it.
        >
        > "Prester John", however, was somewhat different. One of my continuing
        > research interests is African Independent Churches (AICs), and Buchan's book
        > is interesting for the light it throws on the attitudes of some colonial
        > civil servants towards the African independent churches. "Ethiopianism" was
        > seen as a threat, particularly after the Bambatha Rebellion in Zululand in
        > 1906, and Buchan's novel seems to have been written to sensationalise that.
        >
        > The discussion also moved me to once again upload my own attempt at writing a
        > novel in the Charles Williams genre, called "The year of the dragon". It can
        > be found in the Files section of the Neo-Inklings (Eldil) forum, and invite
        > people to read it and comment on it, and give me some sort of critique.
        >
        > It too, has something in common with "Shadows of ecstasy" and "Prester John",
        > in that one of the characters is a black African clergyman, though I hope
        > less of a caricature than the one in "Prester John". I'd be particularly
        > interested in comments from people who have read both those books.
        >
        > --
        > Steve Hayes
        > E-mail: shayes@...
        > Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
        > Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
        > Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
        > Fax: 086-548-2525
        >
      • Isaac Vikram Chenchiah
        Hello Malcolm, When you re ready to do so, perhaps you could share with us the theology of imagination that you re developing? I d be interested... Isaac
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Malcolm,

          When you're ready to do so, perhaps you could share with us the
          theology of imagination that you're developing? I'd be interested...

          Isaac

          > By coincidence I've just yesterday finished reading Shadows of
          > Ecstacy. What an extraordinary book, it is indeed something rich and
          > strange! The sympathetic African in that story is in fact a King,
          > rather than a clergyman, though his sense of Kingship is very
          > sacerdotal. The Clergyman Caithness is also very well drawn and the
          > scene where he wrestles, spiritually with the Magician Considine for
          > the soul of the Zulu King is brilliant. Tho' I think the real heart
          > of the book, certainly the part that interests me most, is its
          > exploration of Imagination as a real power of the soul and of Love
          > and Poetry as the focus and intensifier of that power. I am trying
          > to develop a substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be
          > reminded by Williams that even so great a gift as imagination, such
          > an essential part of the Imago Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our
          > fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows. Strong stuff!
          > Malcolm
          >
        • Ann Ahnemann
          ... Yes, very strong stuff. What would a theology of Imagination be? Much has been written about the Evidence of Aesthetic Experience wisely accompanied
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
          • 0 Attachment

             

            >I am

            trying
            > to develop a substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be
            > reminded by Williams that even so great a gift as imagination, such
            > an essential part of the Imago Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our
            > fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows. Strong stuff!
            > Malcolm

            Yes, very strong stuff.

            What would a theology of Imagination be?  Much has been written about the 'Evidence of Aesthetic Experience' wisely accompanied with warnings, as you put it so well, which may 'cast such dreadful shadows'. I'm in mind of what has been called 'German romanticism' which devolved into the very dark in WWII for instance. Or some aspects of freemasonry, secret societies and the like which CW had some experience with.  What in a theology of Imagination would keep us on the rails, stp?  I think of D. Elton Trueblood's pointing on the subject:"We do not, in ordinary life, see things in themselves; instead we normally see them in relation to purposes to the fulfillment of which they may lead, sooner or later."  He, and others, felt that experience of the aesthetic or imagination always involves a recognition of purpose.  Discernment. I've much benefited from C. S. Lewis' affirmation that upon reading _Phantastes_ by George MacDonald his imagination was baptized.  

            And see C. S. Lewis in _God in the Doc: Bulverism"  Imagination as it may have related to Creation (276) and 'Transposition'. and a host of other places where he speaks on the subject of 'baptized' imagination. I feel in Charles Williams imagination runs amok at times- a with the character of Prester John in _War in Heaven_.  "...I am He who sent me." 

            AJA

             


            >

          • Steve Hayes
            ... I think I must rread it again. I think it is 10-12 years since I last read it, and I ve forgotten all but the barest outline. I think of all the Williams
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              On 21 Jan 2010 at 9:56, malcolmguite@... wrote:

              > By coincidence I've just yesterday finished reading Shadows of Ecstacy. What
              > an extraordinary book, it is indeed something rich and strange! The
              > sympathetic African in that story is in fact a King, rather than a clergyman,
              > though his sense of Kingship is very sacerdotal. The Clergyman Caithness is
              > also very well drawn and the scene where he wrestles, spiritually with the
              > Magician Considine for the soul of the Zulu King is brilliant. Tho' I think
              > the real heart of the book, certainly the part that interests me most, is its
              > exploration of Imagination as a real power of the soul and of Love and Poetry
              > as the focus and intensifier of that power. I am trying to develop a
              > substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be reminded by Williams
              > that even so great a gift as imagination, such an essential part of the Imago
              > Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows.

              I think I must rread it again.

              I think it is 10-12 years since I last read it, and I've forgotten all but
              the barest outline. I think of all the Williams novels it's the one I've read
              least.

              I did a Google search on Williams and Prester John, and was surprised to find
              several other blog posts on the topic in the last couple of months. One
              suggested that Tolkien had got the idea of the palantir as a result of
              discussing Prester John with Charles Williams.


              --
              Steve Hayes
              E-mail: shayes@...
              Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
              Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
              Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
              Fax: 086-548-2525
            • Andrew Beussink
              I d also be interested in anything you have to say about imagination. My own meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on Reason and
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                I'd also be interested in anything you have to say about imagination.  My own meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on "Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces" as well as some of Barfield's works.  I was thinking that I'd check out his "What Coleridge Thought" next, since, if I remember correctly, Coleridge was a large influence on Barfield's ideas relating to imagination.  Barfield also said that imagination can be misused for evil:  "Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good.  It may be either good or evil.  As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature.  Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope.  But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration [formation of phenomena from sensations... something like that]  is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to breath through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited."  A little of that reminds me of Tolkien's idea of subcreation, humanity's right whether "used or misused."  He was, of course, strongly influenced by Barfield's "Poetic Diction."

                Andrew
                 
                On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 9:31 AM, Ann Ahnemann <ahnemann@...> wrote:
                 

                 

                >I am trying
                > to develop a substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be
                > reminded by Williams that even so great a gift as imagination, such
                > an essential part of the Imago Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our
                > fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows. Strong stuff!
                > Malcolm

                Yes, very strong stuff.

                What would a theology of Imagination be?  Much has been written about the 'Evidence of Aesthetic Experience' wisely accompanied with warnings, as you put it so well, which may 'cast such dreadful shadows'. I'm in mind of what has been called 'German romanticism' which devolved into the very dark in WWII for instance. Or some aspects of freemasonry, secret societies and the like which CW had some experience with.  What in a theology of Imagination would keep us on the rails, stp?  I think of D. Elton Trueblood's pointing on the subject:"We do not, in ordinary life, see things in themselves; instead we normally see them in relation to purposes to the fulfillment of which they may lead, sooner or later."  He, and others, felt that experience of the aesthetic or imagination always involves a recognition of purpose.  Discernment. I've much benefited from C. S. Lewis' affirmation that upon reading _Phantastes_ by George MacDonald his imagination was baptized.  

                And see C. S. Lewis in _God in the Doc: Bulverism"  Imagination as it may have related to Creation (276) and 'Transposition'. and a host of other places where he speaks on the subject of 'baptized' imagination. I feel in Charles Williams imagination runs amok at times- a with the character of Prester John in _War in Heaven_.  "...I am He who sent me." 

                AJA

                 


                >



              • Malcolm
                Dear All Thanks for these various responses, I ve obviously touched on a subject that is close to several peoples hearts. A fuller version of what i want to
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear All
                  Thanks for these various responses, I've obviously touched on a subject that is close to several peoples hearts. A fuller version of what i want to say about a theology of imagination is going to come out in a book called Faith Hope and Poetry this Autumn, I'll have a go at posting a bit of it up in the documents file if I can work it. but picking up on one or two of these threads I would say that whilst acknowledging our fallenness we have to begin with an understanding of what Imagination is and was meant to be in ipse, in its glory, on the basis that we only reform evil by glimpsing through it the original goodness from which it has corroded. I am very much with Coleridge, a (Do read What Coleridge Thought its a revelation)that the imagination is a living and shaping power of perception which is a repetition in the finite mind of the infinite and eternal I AM. Creation, the work of God's imagination is full of meaning and quzlity, (not just matter and quantity) and we only bein to apprehend that meaning, to let the heavens declare his glory, when our imagination goes out to meet his through the medium of the world he makes and shapes and within which we do our own reciprocal making and shaping. My book is specifically about the poetic imagination and my starting point is really Shakespeare's observation, that "Imagination apprehends more than cool reason ever comprehends. We need both, but presently post enlightenment culture is defficient in the imaginative/apprehensive side of that spectrum and we need to make the case, especially to reductive athiests of the dawkins variety that Imagination is a truth-bearing faculty.
                  The shakespeare passage, from Midsummer nights dream, is also central to something else I want to say, which is that there is a paralell, and more than a paralell between Gods supreme creative act in entering into his own world through the incarnation, and every human attempt to 'incarnate' our eternal apprehensions in the specific finite and material shapes of our art. You remember that, describing the act of making poetry Shakespeare says:

                  The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
                  Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
                  And as imagination bodies forth
                  The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
                  Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
                  A local habitation and a name.
                  This is not simply a brilliant account of how poetry works, but with its frame of heaven and earth twice repeated and its hint that poetry must touch and comprehend them both, it gives a deeper resonance to the core moment when the word imagination and bodies are joined together. I believe this passage is also a beautiful account of incarnation. In the Incarnation the Word which dwells in the beginning richly with God, the Divine Logos which would otherwise be an apprehension or an abstraction in the human mind, is literally `bodied forth' literally given `a local habitation and a name', so that in John's Gospel the first question of the disciples to Jesus is `Master where are you staying?' . In Jesus Christ, who `bodies forth' from the Father Truth that would otherwise have remained `the form of things unknown', we see a continuous movement between `earth and heaven, heaven and earth'; we see Jesus `bodying forth' again and again the love which is the essence of heaven and we see the disciples glimpsing in him not only the physical body but also a kind of window or doorway into heaven itself, as at the transfiguration. Indeed in John's Gospel Christ declares himself to be the Door and the Way, So one of the things I am exploring is how works of what Coleridge called "secondary Imagination" and Tolkien called "sun creation" can body forth eternal truth, truth that perhaps cannot be embodied in any other way, certainly not in syllogisms and definitions, and how this bodying forth is always made possible By Gods own eternal and compassionate bodying forth of his Word in us and around us and for us.
                  Anyway this has gone on too long, and its quite hard to summarize, but if people are interested I'll put some relevant passages of the book itself into the writings folder.
                  Thank you all for your swift and interesting responses to someone who is a complete newbie to this net group/blogging world
                  Malcolm

                  --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Beussink <elimas26@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I'd also be interested in anything you have to say about imagination. My
                  > own meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on
                  > "Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces" as
                  > well as some of Barfield's works. I was thinking that I'd check out his
                  > "What Coleridge Thought" next, since, if I remember correctly, Coleridge was
                  > a large influence on Barfield's ideas relating to imagination. Barfield
                  > also said that imagination can be misused for evil: "Imagination is not, as
                  > some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good
                  > or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which
                  > imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was
                  > treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope.
                  > But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration
                  > [formation of phenomena from sensations... something like that] is
                  > beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator
                  > relation is beginning to breath through into consciousness, both the good
                  > and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear
                  > unlimited." A little of that reminds me of Tolkien's idea of subcreation,
                  > humanity's right whether "used or misused." He was, of course, strongly
                  > influenced by Barfield's "Poetic Diction."
                  >
                  > Andrew
                  >
                  >
                  > > On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 9:31 AM, Ann Ahnemann <ahnemann@...>wrote:
                  > >
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >> * *
                  > >>
                  > >> >I am trying
                  > >> > to develop a substantial theology of Imagination and its good to be
                  > >> > reminded by Williams that even so great a gift as imagination, such
                  > >> > an essential part of the Imago Dei in us, can nevertheless, in our
                  > >> > fallen state, cast such dreadful shadows. Strong stuff!
                  > >> > Malcolm
                  > >>
                  > >> *Yes, very strong stuff.*
                  > >>
                  > >> *What would a theology of Imagination be? Much has been written about
                  > >> the 'Evidence of Aesthetic Experience' wisely accompanied with warnings, as
                  > >> you put it so well, which may 'cast such dreadful shadows'. I'm in mind of
                  > >> what has been called 'German romanticism' which devolved into the very dark
                  > >> in WWII for instance. Or some aspects of freemasonry, secret societies and
                  > >> the like which CW had some experience with. What in a theology of
                  > >> Imagination would keep us on the rails, stp? I think of D. Elton
                  > >> Trueblood's pointing on the subject:"We do not, in ordinary life, see things
                  > >> in themselves; instead we normally see them in relation to purposes to the
                  > >> fulfillment of which they may lead, sooner or later." He, and others, felt
                  > >> that experience of the aesthetic or imagination always involves a
                  > >> recognition of purpose. Discernment. I've much benefited from C. S. Lewis'
                  > >> affirmation that upon reading _Phantastes_ by George MacDonald his
                  > >> imagination was baptized. *
                  > >>
                  > >> *And see C. S. Lewis in _God in the Doc: Bulverism" Imagination as it
                  > >> may have related to Creation (276) and 'Transposition'. and a host of other
                  > >> places where he speaks on the subject of 'baptized' imagination. I feel in
                  > >> Charles Williams imagination runs amok at times- a with the character of
                  > >> Prester John in _War in Heaven_. "...I am He who sent me." *
                  > >>
                  > >> *AJA*
                  > >>
                  > >> * *
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >> >
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Ann Ahnemann
                  From: eldil@yahoogroups.com [mailto:eldil@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Beussink Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:40 PM To: eldil@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment

                     

                     

                    From: eldil@yahoogroups.com [mailto:eldil@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Beussink
                    Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:40 PM
                    To: eldil@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: theology of the Imagination?? RE: [eldil] Re: Prester John

                     

                     

                    >I'd also be

                    interested in anything you have to say about imagination. 

                    My simplest answer is that imagination is our way of processing spiritual realities.

                     My own meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on "Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces"

                    I agree.  CSL is very good on the subject.  Weight of Glory, and other works- on the images/imagination good vs. evil conundrum.  He was all for reason, as you know.  He lists in WoG four 'tests' for moral judgment: facts, intuition, reasoning, authority. (WCG 58) Though moral judgment is not your main subject, I can't think how it wouldn't come into the discussion.  Imagination is not always to be trusted as wise people know.

                    Further, I think you would be on an informative track with Coleridge.  He was living in the age of psychology which informs our subject in a positive way I believe, if one is looking toward a unified theory (if such exists) of perception.  That said, Coleridge as many others, Blake, could possibly run away with himself.

                    Barfield was good with his, "...all spiritual facts are represented by natural symbols" quoted from Emerson's _Nature, Poetic Diction 92)  I do believe that Barfield's dunk into theosophy led him afield of the only true Unity of Creation:  the Creator. But I'm biased.  Unity for me is Christ Jesus- and my journey is therefore not to end in theory. :)

                    BTW I particularly like in PD Barfield's Chapter VII The Making of Meaning.

                    I would be most interested in your progress.  Much has been written; there is a lack of Theology of Imagination per se.

                    Blessings,

                    AJA

                     

                  • Malcolm
                    Yes Coleridge is a key figure because he came eventually to a deeply rooted trinitarian theology and his whole philosophy starts and ends there. I think What
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Yes Coleridge is a key figure because he came eventually to a deeply rooted trinitarian theology and his whole philosophy starts and ends there. I think What Coleridge thought is Barfield's best book after PD precisely because sticking to coleridge him stops him falling into various anthroposophical abysses. Coleridge also finds Unity in christ binding together earth and heaven but it is as he would say unity in multeity (his word) Christ unifies all things but he also gives and gives back to all things their glorious particularity. I have put the introduction to FHP and also the chapter on Coleridge into the writings folder in this group. hope that worked
                      M


                      --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, Ann Ahnemann <ahnemann@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > From: eldil@yahoogroups.com [mailto:eldil@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      > Andrew Beussink
                      > Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:40 PM
                      > To: eldil@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: theology of the Imagination?? RE: [eldil] Re: Prester John
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >I'd also be interested in anything you have to say about imagination.
                      >
                      > My simplest answer is that imagination is our way of processing spiritual
                      > realities.
                      >
                      > My own meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on
                      > "Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces"
                      >
                      > I agree. CSL is very good on the subject. Weight of Glory, and other
                      > works- on the images/imagination good vs. evil conundrum. He was all for
                      > reason, as you know. He lists in WoG four 'tests' for moral judgment:
                      > facts, intuition, reasoning, authority. (WCG 58) Though moral judgment is
                      > not your main subject, I can't think how it wouldn't come into the
                      > discussion. Imagination is not always to be trusted as wise people know.
                      >
                      > Further, I think you would be on an informative track with Coleridge. He
                      > was living in the age of psychology which informs our subject in a positive
                      > way I believe, if one is looking toward a unified theory (if such exists) of
                      > perception. That said, Coleridge as many others, Blake, could possibly run
                      > away with himself.
                      >
                      > Barfield was good with his, "...all spiritual facts are represented by
                      > natural symbols" quoted from Emerson's _Nature, Poetic Diction 92) I do
                      > believe that Barfield's dunk into theosophy led him afield of the only true
                      > Unity of Creation: the Creator. But I'm biased. Unity for me is Christ
                      > Jesus- and my journey is therefore not to end in theory. :)
                      >
                      > BTW I particularly like in PD Barfield's Chapter VII The Making of Meaning.
                      >
                      > I would be most interested in your progress. Much has been written; there
                      > is a lack of Theology of Imagination per se.
                      >
                      > Blessings,
                      >
                      > AJA
                      >
                    • Steve Hayes
                      ... I am reminded of the Magnificat: He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. And then there is Gen 6:5: And the LORD saw that the
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On 21 Jan 2010 at 11:39, Andrew Beussink wrote:

                        > I'd also be interested in anything you have to say about imagination. My own
                        > meanderings have lead me in a somewhat similar direction, based on "Reason and
                        > Imagination in C. S. Lewis: A Study of Till We Have Faces" as well as some of
                        > Barfield's works. I was thinking that I'd check out his "What Coleridge
                        > Thought" next, since, if I remember correctly, Coleridge was a large influence
                        > on Barfield's ideas relating to imagination. Barfield also said that
                        > imagination can be misused for evil: "Imagination is not, as some poets have
                        > thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long
                        > as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was
                        > limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil
                        > which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection
                        > between imagination and figuration [formation of phenomena from sensations...
                        > something like that] is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the
                        > directionally creator relation is beginning to breath through into
                        > consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination
                        > begin to appear unlimited."

                        I am reminded of the Magnificat: He has scattered the proud in the
                        imagination of their hearts.

                        And then there is Gen 6:5: And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was
                        great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart
                        was only evil continually.


                        --
                        Steve Hayes
                        E-mail: shayes@...
                        Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
                        Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
                        Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                        Fax: 086-548-2525
                      • Steve Hayes
                        ... I m not sure about that. Quite a lot has been written about it, for example: http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2 (I hope the link works) -- Steve Hayes E-mail:
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On 21 Jan 2010 at 13:55, Ann Ahnemann wrote:

                          > I would be most interested in your progress. Much has been written; there is
                          > a lack of Theology of Imagination per se.

                          I'm not sure about that.

                          Quite a lot has been written about it, for example:

                          http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2

                          (I hope the link works)


                          --
                          Steve Hayes
                          E-mail: shayes@...
                          Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
                          http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
                        • Ann Ahnemann
                          From: eldil@yahoogroups.com [mailto:eldil@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steve Hayes Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 7:41 PM To: eldil@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jan 21, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment

                             

                             

                            From: eldil@yahoogroups.com [mailto:eldil@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steve Hayes
                            Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 7:41 PM
                            To: eldil@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: theology of the Imagination?? RE: [eldil] Re: Prester John

                             

                             

                            On 21 Jan 2010 at 13:55, Ann Ahnemann wrote:

                            > I would be most interested in your progress. Much has been written; there is
                            > a lack of Theology of Imagination per se.

                            I'm not sure about that.

                            Quite a lot has been written about it, for example:

                            http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2

                            (I hope the link works)

                            Thanks, Steve,

                            The link took me to the book, Philokalia.  Tell me something about it.  And I should have known Eastern Orthodox has much to say on the subject.  :))  EO has been a veritable fountain of spiritual nourishment.

                            AJA




                            _,___

                          • Steve Hayes
                            ... The Philokalia is a collection of spiritual writings from various periods made by Makarios of Corinth and Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain a couple of
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 22, 2010
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On 21 Jan 2010 at 21:55, Ann Ahnemann wrote:

                              > http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2
                              >
                              > (I hope the link works)
                              >
                              > Thanks, Steve,
                              >
                              > The link took me to the book, Philokalia. Tell me something about it. And I
                              > should have known Eastern Orthodox has much to say on the subject. :)) EO has
                              > been a veritable fountain of spiritual nourishment.

                              The Philokalia is a collection of spiritual writings from various periods
                              made by Makarios of Corinth and Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain a couple of
                              hundred years ago. It was mainly intended for the guidance of monks, but
                              there's a lot that Christians living in the world can find useful too.

                              There's quite a lot in it about good and bad uses of the imagination
                              (dianoia).

                              .


                              --
                              Steve Hayes
                              E-mail: shayes@...
                              Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
                              http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
                            • Malcolm
                              I was introduced to the Philokalia by my college chaplain when I became a Christian in 1979, it is a great source of wisdom, spiritual insight and renewal.
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 22, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                I was introduced to the Philokalia by my college chaplain when I became a Christian in 1979, it is a great source of wisdom, spiritual insight and renewal. Also good for humility, I have only to turn a few pages to be reminded how far I am from the real spiritual heights
                                M

                                --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > On 21 Jan 2010 at 21:55, Ann Ahnemann wrote:
                                >
                                > > http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2
                                > >
                                > > (I hope the link works)
                                > >
                                > > Thanks, Steve,
                                > >
                                > > The link took me to the book, Philokalia. Tell me something about it. And I
                                > > should have known Eastern Orthodox has much to say on the subject. :)) EO has
                                > > been a veritable fountain of spiritual nourishment.
                                >
                                > The Philokalia is a collection of spiritual writings from various periods
                                > made by Makarios of Corinth and Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain a couple of
                                > hundred years ago. It was mainly intended for the guidance of monks, but
                                > there's a lot that Christians living in the world can find useful too.
                                >
                                > There's quite a lot in it about good and bad uses of the imagination
                                > (dianoia).
                                >
                                > .
                                >
                                >
                                > --
                                > Steve Hayes
                                > E-mail: shayes@...
                                > Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
                                > http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
                                >
                              • Malcolm
                                Just connecting with theology and imagination from another angle, enacting poetic imagination rather than writing about it, Steve has suggested I post a link
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jan 27, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Just connecting with theology and imagination from another angle, enacting poetic imagination rather than writing about it, Steve has suggested I post a link to a blog post in which I have posted a new sequence of four sonnets moving through a church from font to altar. The link is now duly poosted on this groups links page but heres a taster, the first (font) sonnet to see if its the kind of think you want to follow, this sonnet arises from the context of an Easter Baptism and also describes the fifteenth century 'angel' font in the church I serve:

                                  The Font

                                  Old stone angels hold aloft the font
                                  A wide womb, floating on the breath of God,
                                  Feathered with seraph wings, lit with the swift
                                  Bright lightening of praise, with thunder over-spread,
                                  And under-girded with their unheard song,
                                  Calling through water, fire, darkness, pain,
                                  Calling us to the life for which we long,
                                  Yearning to bring us to our birth again.

                                  Again the breath of God is on the waters
                                  In whose reflecting face our candles shine,
                                  Again he draws from death the sons and daughters
                                  For whom he bid the elements combine,
                                  As old stone angels round a font today
                                  Become the ones who roll the stone away.

                                  Malcolm

                                  --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, "Malcolm" <malcolmguite@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I was introduced to the Philokalia by my college chaplain when I became a Christian in 1979, it is a great source of wisdom, spiritual insight and renewal. Also good for humility, I have only to turn a few pages to be reminded how far I am from the real spiritual heights
                                  > M
                                  >
                                  > --- In eldil@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > On 21 Jan 2010 at 21:55, Ann Ahnemann wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > > http://tinyurl.com/ybur2l2
                                  > > >
                                  > > > (I hope the link works)
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Thanks, Steve,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The link took me to the book, Philokalia. Tell me something about it. And I
                                  > > > should have known Eastern Orthodox has much to say on the subject. :)) EO has
                                  > > > been a veritable fountain of spiritual nourishment.
                                  > >
                                  > > The Philokalia is a collection of spiritual writings from various periods
                                  > > made by Makarios of Corinth and Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain a couple of
                                  > > hundred years ago. It was mainly intended for the guidance of monks, but
                                  > > there's a lot that Christians living in the world can find useful too.
                                  > >
                                  > > There's quite a lot in it about good and bad uses of the imagination
                                  > > (dianoia).
                                  > >
                                  > > .
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --
                                  > > Steve Hayes
                                  > > E-mail: shayes@
                                  > > Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
                                  > > http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Steve Hayes
                                  ... Malcolm, I think all four were very good. I ve never been a great fan of the sonnet format, but after reading yours, i almost changed my mind. I ll have to
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jan 27, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    On 27 Jan 2010 at 16:01, Malcolm wrote:

                                    > Just connecting with theology and imagination from another angle, enacting
                                    > poetic imagination rather than writing about it, Steve has suggested I post a
                                    > link to a blog post in which I have posted a new sequence of four sonnets
                                    > moving through a church from font to altar. The link is now duly poosted on
                                    > this groups links page but heres a taster, the first (font) sonnet to see if
                                    > its the kind of think you want to follow, this sonnet arises from the context
                                    > of an Easter Baptism and also describes the fifteenth century 'angel' font in
                                    > the church I serve:

                                    Malcolm,

                                    I think all four were very good.

                                    I've never been a great fan of the sonnet format, but after reading yours, i
                                    almost changed my mind. I'll have to re-read Herbert, but I think I like
                                    yours better.

                                    And thanks for doing it, because the aim of this group is not just to admire
                                    the Inklings, but to do what they did and share each other's writing, and
                                    comment on it.


                                    --
                                    Steve Hayes
                                    E-mail: shayes@...
                                    Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
                                    http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.