The anatomy of romantic theology: a study in Christian apologetics
Swindall, Harold Wayne
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The paper is primarily concerned with a theory of apologetics from within a romantic perspective. The major sources of the study are Owen Barfield, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. Research proceeds along the lines of apologetics, romanticism, and the imagination. The form of the study takes shape in six sections.The "Introductory Remarks" state the main thesis, refer to the sources, and outline the course of the thesis' development.The "Apologetical Perspective" demonstrates the inadequacy of the current attitude toward apology and claims a wider perspective for its operation. The section includes a discussion of the original meaning and use of apologia and a consideration of the metaphorical applications of the term. The section concludes with the suggestion that romantic theology has enlarged the field of operation for apology and that apologetic activity takes place on three levels: classic, assumptive, and intrinsic."The Morphology of Romantic Theology" opens with a general discussion of romanticism. It then turns to a demonstration of romantic theology in action as it faces mechanistic attack on one hand and a challenge Use other side if necessary. from emergent romanticism on the other. It also supplements today's rationalistic theology. The section concludes with an exposition of the individual contributions to romantic theology by Barfield, Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams."Mythopoeic Diction" is an original term and concept advanced by the thesis as a key to understanding the effect of romantic theology. The section includes a brief treatment of myth and a comparison of realism and romanticism. The apologetic effect of mythopoeic diction comprises the section's closing statement."Imagination and Theology Reconsidered" challenges theology to come to grips with the imagination as a means of apprehension, objectification, and representation. Causes for the neglect of the imagination in theological study are presented, followed by the claim that the imagination cannot be wholly ignored by theology. The section concludes with a demonstration of the imagination as a means of enlightenment and a discussion of the converted imagination."The Summary Observation" considers the timing of the romantic apologetic appeal, and its relation to traditional Christian symbols. Romantic theology as phenomenology of religion is investigated. The effect of romantic theology on the three levels of apology is reiterated and apologia as an aspect of the classicalromantic debate is considered. The section concludes with a statement of the use of knowledge gained from a mature romanticism, romantic theology and Christian growth, and its relation to the concept of a divine continuity.There is a brief glossary dealing with the particular use of terms in the study.