Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Spark the Imagination

Anne Tomlinson, writing from the perspective of her observation on the training of candidates for the Scottish Episcopal Church noticed the trend in their instruction is to educate the imagination out of the candidates for ministry. She noticed as students progressed through their training that there was an obvious deskilling of their intuition. It was this inchoate unease that encouraged her to research further the prospect of using imagination in ministry. [1]

She writes, 'Ministers must be helped on the one hand to imbibe the disciplines of prayer, meditation, lectio devina, silence, repentance, vision and discernment, disciplines which will enable them to know God as the ground of all being, and on the other to be fluently conversant with the language, literature and tradition of the Church through the ages. But more importantly, they must be helped to become the kind of people who can bring these two elements together, and so enable others to engage in the creative dialectic in their own lives.'[2]

Tomlinson believes that catalyst for this is the agency of the Holy Spirit who ‘…rouses us into being aware of the Infinite in the finite… the imagination…is the spark of the Spirit… [and are able] to testify to the holy in habitual, forming fresh epiphanies with words.’[3] Perhaps the discipline of writing a journal could address this need allowing both for the theology and the creativity of reflection and imagination.

[1] Anne L. Tomlinson, ‘Training God’s Spies’, Edinburgh, Contact Pastoral Monograph, 2001. Introduction.
[2] ibid. p.9.
[3] Ibid. p. 17f.

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng


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