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What is the moral imagination

This is a good discussion of the moral imagination. It addresses specifically how necessary good children’s stories are in forming the moral imagination, but it also gives a very good definition as well:

The moral imagination is not a thing, not so much a faculty even, as the very process by which the self makes metaphors out of images given by experience and then employs these metaphors to find and suppose moral correspondences in experience. The moral imagination is active, for well or ill, strongly or weakly, every moment of our lives, in our sleep as well as when we are awake. But it needs nurture and proper exercise. Otherwise, it will atrophy like a muscle that is not used. The richness or the poverty of the moral imagination depends upon the richness or the poverty of experience. When human beings are young and dependent upon parents and others who assume custodial care for them, they are especially open to formation through experiences provided by these persons. When we argue or discuss what kind of education or recreation our children should have we are acknowledging these realities.

Without the moral imagination, by the way, we would have no way of truly knowing God who is spirit.

Source: Awakening the Moral Imagination – The Imaginative Conservative

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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