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Through the Rose Window
Art, Myth and the Religious Imagination
John F. Hayward
ISBN: 9781558964280
Edited by Kenneth A. Olliff
Book (Paperback)
Skinner House Books
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
192 pages
January 1, 2002


“This is the fruit of a lifetime of reflection on the importance of imagination in religion. Thought provoking yet written in readable and beautiful language, these reflections are themselves works of art. This book will be a delight to readers of a variety of religious and non-religious stances.” -Jerome Stone, Meadville/Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago
Fourteen essays explore the many roles of art and religion as vehicles for transcendent truth.

Religion, itself a human art, is presented as an invention of the human imagination rather than a gift from a divine source. Like religion, the arts express depths that are not readily available for rational analysis yet are deeply felt in human experience. In these essays, Hayward samples literature, music and the visual arts to demonstrate how the arts reveal “the true music of life.” He discusses myths, which he calls “true-fictions”, as a primary vehicle for religious expression. Hayward invites readers to view the Bible not as “one pure strain of religious witness,” but as a source of affirmations and denials of divine glory and human worth, divine judgment and human frailty. Persuasive and thought provoking, Hayward is an eloquent spokesman for liberal religion’s faith in the human spirit.

Skinner House