Sandra M. Levy-Achtemeier, Ph.D.

Imagination Review - Living Church

Living Church - July 2009

This book explores the role of imagination in our search for God, or imagination as the "gateway to God." In that sense, there are ways to enhance our imaginative capabilities to further our sense of the transcendent.

Levy draws on her background as both a clinical psychologist and Episcopal priest to map out this process. She states that there are three major modes of imaginative creation that enable ways to develop and explore that gateway. Humans encounter God through symbolic means — ritual and music, poetry, art, and the narrative found in plays, films, novels and the scripture story itself. The book also explores spiritual practices which enrich and enhance our imaginative capacities involving ritual, poetry, storytelling, and the arts. These are practices that can be used in homes, communities, and churches.

Mindful of the many cultural influences that could negatively impact the imagination, it is important that the foundation of the wisdom of a religious tradition, in this case the Judeo-Christian narrative, inform the imaginative process.

This book would be informative and useful for a small group study and practice in a parish setting.

Diane Thrush