The Way of Imagination
“The Way of Imagination is a dazzling, often heartbreaking, and ultimately healing meditation on the power of art to confront the existential threat that human greed and violence has foisted upon the earth. Scott Russell Sanders has written a vital book for this dark moment in history, demonstrating the truth of his insight that ‘imagination keeps us from being trapped in the present arrangement of things.’ His faith in the creative process as a shaping force for good is bracing, and his belief that we are called to love and compassion, notwithstanding the abundant evidence of human folly, is borne out on every page of this illuminating book.” – Christopher Merrill, author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood
“Scott Russell Sanders is an honest man in a time of lies, a wise man in a time of foolishness, a healer in a time of wounds, and a beautiful writer in a time of ugly rants. His new book thus offers both solace and inspiration. Like Loren Eiseley or Rachel Carson, Sanders begins with the natural world and leads readers into the moral world, where wondering love becomes an urgent call to care.” – Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising
Prize-winning essayist turns to the imagination as a spiritual guide and material method of living through climate disruption, as climate change and broad extinction forever alter our place on the planet and our lives together.
Imagination breaks the shell of the status quo, summoning up objects that do not yet exist, actions that no one has yet performed, and wiser ways of living that have yet to be realized.
Fascinated by science and math from an early age, Scott Russell Sanders later developed a passion for literature and art. From his college years onward, he has been deeply engaged in struggles against racism, sexism, environmental devastation, and war. Gradually he realized that his response to each of these challenges arose from compassion and a desire to reduce suffering.
Woven through his reflections on issues vital to human survival and flourishing, Sanders tells the story of his own intellectual and moral journey from childhood religion to an adult philosophy of life (which is later tested when his son is diagnosed with stage-four cancer). He recounts how he and his wife, who has Parkinson’s disease, leave their beloved old house to accommodate her needs, and turn their handsome new house into a home and their raw city lot into a garden.
In The Way of Imagination, Scott Russell Sanders shows that acts of imagination are crucial to healing our divided society and damaged earth.