Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God

Malcolm Guite

Longlisted 2023
Published by Canterbury Press Norwich (UK), Square Halo Books (USA) on 01 Oct 2021

From the moment that Jesus Christ first proclaimed the Kingdom of God, he appealed to our imagination. He made that appeal through the parables, the paradoxes of the Gospel, his miracles, and those moments when the heavens opened and the ordinary was transfigured. In this book, the poet Malcolm Guite explores how the creative work of poets and other artists can begin to lift the veil, kindling our imaginations for Christ.

Christianity has often been suspicious of the human imagination, equating it with what is imaginary or merely made-up, while in the secular world the arts are often seen as little more than a source of entertainment. In Lifting the Veil, Malcolm Guite explores the vision from which all his writing springs – that there is a radiant reality at the heart of things which our dulled sight misses, and that the imagination is an aspect of the image of God in us that can awaken us to the presence and truth of God shimmering through all creation. He considers how Jesus appealed to the imagination in his use of stories, parables and everyday metaphors, often startling people into a fresh awareness of the kingdom of God, and explores how poets and artists such as Blake and Coleridge sought to remove the dull ‘film of familiarity’ that lies over our senses and reawaken a sense of wonder. Malcolm argues that renewing our artistic imaginations strengthens our moral and prophetic imaginations, making Lifting the Veil an inspiring manifesto for all who seek to embody the kingdom of God.

Malcolm Guite is a poet and priest, and Life Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge. In 2023 he was awarded the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship, for his outstanding multifaceted promotion of the Gospels through poetry, public speaking and scholarship. His books include “Sounding the Seasons,” “The Singing Bowl,”” Parable and Paradox,” “Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge,” and recently contributed to Square Halo’s “Ordinary Saints.”

Purchase from Church House Bookshop