Newman on Imagination and Religious Belief
Before looking at the role of the religious imagination in John Henry Newman's life and thought, it is important to establish first of all what Newman meant and what he did not mean by his normal use of the word "imagination." According to John Coulson, in his book Religion and Imagination:'in aid of a grammar of assent', "Newman's original conception of imagination is purely Coleridgean: it is the inventive . .. power."1 Now we know from papers drafted in preparation for An Essay in Aid of a Grammar o fAssent (1870) that its famous distinction between notional and real assent was originally termed a distinction between notional and imaginative assent, with the proviso that "the faculty of imagination ... be taken to stand, not for an inventive power, but for the power, which attends on memory, of recalling to the mind and making present the absent."
"Newman on Imagination and Religious Belief,"
LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture: Vol. 1
, Article 6.
Available at: https://ir.stthomas.edu/logos/vol1/iss1/6