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Dinah Livingstone Essay

Dinah Livingstone
Poetic Tales
an essay in four chapters
published on 19th July 2010.
Essay. 150 pages. 9.95. ISBN 9780904872446
Paperback book or pdf file (same price).

If we regard the whole supernatural realm of God or gods, angels and demons as the rich product of the human imagination, what value can such 'poetic tales' still have for us, once we have discarded the supernatural? The surprising answer is as much as ever. Not only does everyone, atheist or otherwise, need some theology, without which so much of our history and culture remains baffling, but when taken and sifted with what Coleridge called 'the willing suspension of disbelief, for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith', those tales are found to contain treasures of wisdom.

Poetic Tales combines a defence of poetry, a natural theology (with nothing supernatural about it), and a quest for kindness. After a chapter on the necessity of poetry, there are three chapters on the Trinity ('Father, Son and Holy Spirit'), entitled respectively 'Mother and Father', 'Earthchild: The Making of Humanity' and 'Human Kindness', which explore the central Christian story, not in order to add to the immense corpus of scholarship, but to ponder its enduring, purely natural, meaning and power. The book offers a way into poetry even for the prosaic or merely puzzled, and a way into theology for atheists and all.

From reviews:

'In her new book Poetic Tales, Livingstone takes us on a fascinating journey exploring the human imagination which has created 'the whole supernatural realm of God or gods, angels and demons' -- Morning Star

'The first chapter is a very fine discusssion of "the necessity of poetry". It pithily sums up one of the crucial ideas behind poetry thus, "Knowledge how to becomes art." ... this wonderful essay on poetry...' -- Acumen

'.For Dinah Livingstone, the Christian story is a human creation, albeit a very important one... For her, much remains even when that which is supernatural has been removed from the equation.' -- Church Times

' This book seems to me to offer a way ahead for Christians who find it difficult to take the churches seriously... [it[ will give encouragement to all reformers, renewalists and innovators, to all who care for the credibility of the gospel.' -- Renew

'It is not difficult to read and has much richness to offer.' -- Anne Ashworth in Sofia.

'Dinah Livingstone may be a 'non-believer' but she has a theologian's depth of knowledge of the bible and the early church. For her, poetry and theology are related disciplines and she tackles both with a toughness that is anything but vague or whimsical.' -- Colin Davies, amazon.co.uk online review

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Dinah Livingstone Poetry: Kindness | Dinah Livingstone Poetry: Presence |
Dinah Livingstone More Poetry
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Essay: The Poetry of Earth |
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