Shape of imagination in the theology of John McIntyre
Graber, Evan Wade
This thesis will offer a survey of John McIntyre’s major theological works, argue for the presence of a single systematic project, identify the key components of that proposed theological system, and conclude by offering an evaluation of that system. The survey of McIntyre’s works is not meant to be exhaustive, as this is not a historical presentation of McIntyre’s theology. The key purpose is to point out the unique characteristics of key works as components of McIntyre’s proposed theological system. It will be argued that this system stems from the monograph Faith, Theology and Imagination. This proposed system is then worked out in varying degrees of completion in The Shape of Christology, The Shape of Soteriology, and The Shape of Pneumatology. The key component of this proposed theological system is the concept of imagination. Part of this concept in McIntyre is methodological. Part of this concept is epistemological. However, these aspects of imagination are derivative of McIntyre’s claim that imagination functions as a divine perfection par excellence and by extension is an integral part of the imago Dei. The final aim of this thesis will be an evaluation of this system as it stands in McIntyre’s own writing, and in these works in particular. This evaluation will consist of identifying parts of the theological vision laid out in Faith, Theology and Imagination that have not been fleshed out, namely a fully developed doctrine of God and doctrine of creation. The conclusion of this evaluation will identify key points for developing these doctrines along McIntyrian lines, specifically beginning with claims that McIntyre makes in The Shape of Pneumatology that point towards a doctrine of creation and claims in Faith, Theology and Imagination that point back to On the Love of God as an outline for developing a doctrine of God in terms of imagination.