All posts tagged: john lennon

The Confused Catholic Imagination

It is commonplace to assume that the imagination is opposed to reality. This is not the prevailing understanding of the imagination in contemporary theory and theology. Let’s start with the following classic rock lyrics to clarify the ties of the imagination to reality: Imagine there’s no heaven / It’s easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us only sky / Imagine all the people living for today // Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people living life in peace . . . [1] The alternative world imagined by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (“it’s easy if you try,” they say) is reminiscent of Isaiah’s Peaceable Kingdom (Is 11:1–9). However, like in a Flannery O’Connor novel, it is a Peaceable Kingdom without God, eschatology, and history. Implementing such a world would require the complete restructuring of politics, society, architecture, worship, and so on. When the implications of the lyrics of the song …