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dc.contributor.advisorBrown, David
dc.contributor.authorAllen, Timothy M.
dc.description.abstractThe doctrine of heaven has come under considerable contestation in contemporary Christian theology, especially noticeably so within influential Protestant strands. This thesis argues that the theological imagining of heaven can be enriched by theological reflection on popular forms of art (with a particular, although not exclusive, focus on popular film). It shows how certain works of popular art not only keep alive dormant aspects of Christian doctrine, but also challenge contemporary assumptions regarding heaven. Part one (chapters 1-3) lays the ground for theologically engaging popular culture. It establishes a theory of revelation that underscores the importance of the Holy Spirit’s continuing action in popular culture, as well as offering a critique of particular perspectives in contemporary New Testament studies. By taking seriously the hermeneutical context for the reception of revelation throughout history, the thesis argues that it is of critical importance to take the wider culture seriously in theological construction. Part two focuses on an imaginative approach to three areas of personal identity in a post-mortem existence: appearance in relation to identity recognition in heaven (chapter 4); memory of earthly experiences (chapter 5); and bodily continuity/discontinuity and fulfillment as it pertains to imagining resurrection bodies (chapter 6). In this way, these chapters seek to offer new perspectives on, and distinctive contributions to, three areas of eschatology that have long standing trajectories within theological and philosophical studies in Western culture. Chapter 7 includes an analysis of popular films that attempt to imagine a post-apocalyptic vision of creation after the end. The lack of contemporary films that imagine an earth-bound eschatology, it argues, is theologically significant and, indeed, a compelling reason to re-emphasize the other-worldliness of heaven. The conclusion highlights some of the main contributions of the thesis; it also seeks to indicate some of the implications of this research and methodology for future studies.en
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.titleHeaven and Imaginationen_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US

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