Imagining God

Judith Wolfe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


This article interrogates the role of the human imagination in ordinary perception and orientation, in encounters with art, and in practices of faith. Philosophers and psychologists have long argued that perception is irreducibly imaginative, in the sense that to perceive intelligibly is, in part, to integrate sensory data into forms or wholes that are not simply given. The ability to do this is what continental philosophy calls ‘the imagination’, and the imagination in this sense is central to how humans apprehend and orient themselves in the world. This centrality introduces an element of risk into all human apprehension of the world, other people, and the divine, which cannot be overcome by spiritual or epistemological safeguards. Rather, such risk is inalienable, not least to a life of faith. The article discusses ways to understand and engage this dynamic, especially through theological encounters with art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalModern Theology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


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