Imaginative Apologetics

Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition

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This timely book offers a fresh, contemporary introduction to Christian apologetics, arguing for a version that is theological, philosophical, and "catholic" and embracing the whole of human reason. It emphasizes a foundation in theology that is both confident and open and makes reference to philosophy in an accessible way. Professors and students in apologetics, theology, and philosophy courses will value this work. It will also appeal to readers interested in Christian theology, the current debate about atheism and Christianity, and Radical Orthodoxy.


Foreword by John Milbank
Introduction by Andrew Davison
Faith and Reason Reconsidered
1. Proofs and Arguments John Hughes
2. Christian Reason and Christian Community Andrew Davison
Christian Apologetics and the Human Imagination
3. Apologetics and the Imagination: Making Strange Alison Milbank
4. Apologetics, Literature, and Worldview Donna J. Lazenby
5. The Good Serves the Better and Both the Best: C. S. Lewis on Imagination and Reason in Apologetics Michael Ward
Being Imaginative about Christian Apologetics
6. Atheism, Apologetics, and Ecclesiology: Gaudium et Spes and Contemporary Unbelief Stephen Bullivant
7. Christian Ethics as Good News Craig Hovey
Situating Christian Apologetics
8. Cultural Hermeneutics and Christian Apologetics Graham Ward
9. Moments and Themes in the History of Apologetics Richard Conrad, OP
10. The Natural Sciences and Apologetics Alister E. McGrath


"This attractive volume encourages us to invite others into Christ's way of seeing the world and to step into the life of a community where his new way of living and loving can be found. It is an original and inspiring contribution to the apologetic task of the Church."

Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry

"This is a stunning book. In simple and vibrant prose, the authors explain our failing attempts to communicate God through colorless, proof style arguments that are all but emptied of mystery and the language of desire. They call, instead, for a healthy tension between clarity and estrangement, logic and wonder. They invite us towards socially and culturally sensitive presentations of the Gospel, rooted in Church tradition and embodied in our own lives. Imaginative Apologetics delivers a prophetic and uplifting message for all Christians."

Alan Ramsey, St. Aldates, Oxford

The Author

  1. Andrew Davison

    Andrew Davison

    Andrew Davison (DPhil, University of Oxford) is Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences in the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge. He has taught at Westcott House, Cambridge, and at St. Stephen's House, Oxford, and is known for his...

    Continue reading about Andrew Davison


"In the twenty-first century West, Christians are faced with the challenge of defending the faith in an environment in which hostile apathy or genial indifference are increasingly common. In Imaginative Apologetics, ten scholars offer a bracing and insightful perspective on this challenge, writing from a range of disciplines, from theology and philosophy to literature and the sciences. . . . Imaginative Apologetics outlines a mode of engagement that has the potential to transform the discipline of apologetics. This relatively short book offers both conceptual insights and practical application, but its greatest value may be that it makes a powerful case for a new approach to apologetics that uses the imagination, allied with reason, to give a reason for our hope."

Holly Ordway,


"Gathered together in this remarkably accessible volume are ten essays that reconsider the symbiotic relationship between faith and reason and underscore the role of human imagination in the apologetic task, while situating apologetics in the present cultural moment. . . . Imaginative Apologetics is a muscular and most attractive--while deceptively brief--volume that should be required reading in Christian liberal arts education. In fact, it should be in the library of every thoughtful Christian layperson who wishes to probe more deeply the connections between Christian faith and the surrounding culture."

J. Daryl Charles,


"While there is undoubtedly a rational aspect of the art of apologetics, [this book] outlines a more substantive, culturally engaged, and theologically sophisticated form of apologetics, one essential to the Church's work of the New Evangelization. . . . Each essay in the volume enables the catechist or preacher to perceive anew how 'apologetics' as the shaping of a world view is intrinsic to cultivating Christian faith in a postmodern, post-Christian context. What makes the volume particularly attractive, beyond the intelligent and clear writing of the authors, is the extensive bibliography provided at the end of the text. Professors looking to teach courses in apologetics would do far worse than beginning with this bibliography. . . . Through this engagement with an imaginative, affective, and reasonable apologetics, one may begin to discern how catechesis in the present is more than an intellectual persuasion toward the particularities of Christian doctrine; it is an act of wooing the imagination to sense the extraordinary gift offered to what it means to be human in the doctrines and practices of Christian faith."

Timothy P. O'Malley,

Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization

"Andrew Davison is to be applauded for assembling such an excellent collection of essays, essays that address a very real need in the field of apologetics. . . . The book lived up to its promise as an exploration of imaginative possibilities as well as an imaginative exploration of certain possibilities."

Christopher R. Brewer,


"If you are at all interested in apologetics, you should read this book. . . . The collection does have a distinctly Anglican flavor, which is one of its strengths; the authors' perspective is just different enough from the typical Evangelical perspective as to bring new insights to the table (and to challenge hidden assumptions as well). . . . This is an important book--one that anyone seriously engaged in the work of apologetics needs to read carefully. . . . Go order this book--and start thinking about what it might mean for the Gospel if we were equipped with a full, rich, well-reasoned, and imaginative apologetics."

Holly Ordway,

Apologetics 315 blog

"Davison . . . has assembled quite a roster of contributors. . . . I hope [this book] is read widely, especially by pastors and teachers. . . . The authors' arguments are not triumphalistic. They are not sectarian. They do not engage in a rhetoric of despair or decline. Instead, they ask us to reconsider how we understand the connections between faith and reason, imagination and culture, Church and community, and between how we live and what we believe. . . . Davison's collection help us to reflect on how Christians can prepare the way of the Lord. . . . Davison's book suggests that the greatest obstacle we face might well be an impoverished imagination. We should think more deeply about how our lives--including our prayer, our work, and our interactions with others--kindle our imaginations and the imaginations of those around us."

Scott D. Moringiello,

Verdicts blog (Commonweal)