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Plenary Sessions


Tropical Forest with Apes and Snakes 

1910


Jason Fiedler

Outfitting the Chief Explorer: Why Cultivating Imagination Matters

“Imagining is perhaps as close as humans get to creating something out of nothing the way God is said to.”

                                                              Frederich Buechner

                                                              Whistling in the Dark, p. 69


Let’s take some time to carefully examine the ways that Mason spoke of imagination in order to better understand her rich philosophy of education.  How much truth is there in the commonly held belief that “some of us are creative and some are not”?  What are Mason’s cautions to us regarding the development of imagination?  How do we courageously take on the role of “Outfitter”, both for ourselves and for our students.  In a culture where imagination takes its seat at the kids’ table, Mason tells us that it “grows by what it gets”, and therefore must be given its rightful place at The Feast.


 

Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!)  

1891


Dick Keyes

Plenary I. Redeeming the Imagination in the Christian Life

It is easy to think of the imagination as something frivolous or inherently misleading. In fact the Bible itself includes a wide variety of imaginative literature and faith in Christ demands a vital imagination to thrive. We will be looking especially at the imaginative use of our language. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Plenary II. Who Needs Heroes?

Heroism raises the question, “Who you want to become?” It is not just a question for adolescents. Having heroes is having focal points for your aspirations. Without heroes our imagination becomes disconnected from our future in a way that can leave us bored and boring. We will be considering what has become of heroism in the modern world as well as the redemption of our imaginations in the imitation of Christ and of Christ-like people.

Plenary III. Heroism and the Younger Generation

The formidable challenge of passing on Christian heroism to the next generation is to communicate the desire to be a certain kind of person and so to have one’s life become a certain kind of story. The Christian faith must be taught and lived with high integrity to its most important realities if it is going to be experienced not only as true but attractive to the next generation.


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