Imagining Our Neighbours As Ourselves: The Arts, Empathy, and The Christian Imagination

Speaker(s): Mary McCampbell
Date: Summer 2018
Length: 1h 24m
Product ID: RGDL4802X

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In his 1940 novel, The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene's whiskey priest concludes that 'hate was just a failure of imagination.' Like so many other prophetic artists, Greene shows us that in order to love, we must be able to effectively imagine the lives of others. We must, however, learn how to imagine both truthfully and compassionately because the imagination can be used both for dehumanization and rehumanization. In this lecture, we will look at literature, film, photography, and music that provide us with opportunities to expand, rather than constrict, our imaginations for the sake of loving our neighbours as ourselves.

See All Audio by Mary McCampbell

Mary McCampbell is a scholar-in-residence at Regent College for the 2018 winter term. She is an associate professor of humanities at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she teaches courses on postmodern theory and fiction, film and philosophy, and popular culture. A native Tennessean, she completed a doctorate in literature at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne focusing on the relationship between contemporary fiction, late capitalist culture, and the religious impulse.nnHer publications span the worlds of literature, film, and popular music, and while in Vancouver, she will be working on a book titled Postmodern Prophetic: The Religious Impulse in Contemporary Fiction. This monograph will focus on post-secular aspects of the novels of Douglas Coupland, Chuck Palahniuk, Dave Eggers, Bret Easton Ellis, and Nick Hornby, authors that occupy a liminal space between the popular sphere and the academy, garnering both cult status and scholarly attention. Her research on this work, a genre often referred to as 'blank fiction,' has uncovered a distinctly postmodern prophetic impulse, an interesting interplay between Ricoeur's 'hermeneutics of suspicion' and Brueggemann's 'prophetic imagination.'nnMary's primary research has been on the themes of epiphany and apocalypse in the work of Canadian author and artist, Douglas Coupland. While in Vancouver and at Regent, she also plans to spend a significant amount of time working in Coupland's archives (more than 200 boxes) that are housed in UBC's special collections.nnShe has been one of the organizers of Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Music since 2009, and she frequently speaks and teaches on the theological significance of popular music, film, and fiction. Mary was the Summer 2014 Writer-in-Residence at L'Abri Fellowship in Greatham, England and periodically lectures at English L'Abri.

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