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Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on ReligionModern Fascinations$
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Daniel Gold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520236134

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520236134.001.0001

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A Creative Process

A Creative Process

(p.47) Chapter 3 A Creative Process
Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion

Daniel Gold

University of California Press

This chapter begins with a further reflection on the relationships between perspective and depth, bringing in a third term: imagination. It hypothesizes on some of the imaginative processes entailed in the construction of religiohistorical objects, which are crafted pieces of writing that reveal the realities of religious subjects through the subjective visions of their authors—if scholars of religion are like artists creating art objects. The practice of interpretive writing on religion brings together important aspects of the neoclassical and romantic attitudes toward art. Successful writers manage to “communicate a vision” of their materials. This expression, however, is not exactly the self-expression of the romantic poet, which was valued as a usually exuberant outpouring of a unique creative genius. The vision expressed by the scholar instead needs visibly to reflect some outside realities, somehow to represent the religious worlds of others.

Keywords:   imagination, religiohistorical objects, subjective vision, interpretive writing, outside realities

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