Greetings from the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) in the University of St Andrews!
My name is Trevor Hart, and I have been Director of the Institute since it was founded in 2000. ITIA was established to bring together my own research interests in the theological significance of the imagination, and the important work my colleague Jeremy Begbie (now at Duke University) had already been doing for some time in the Theology Through the Arts programme based in Cambridge.
Our vision was to bring imagination and the arts into constructive conversation with Christian theology—to help practitioners in the arts to find a theological context for their work, to understand better the distinctive contributions of imagination and artistry to the Christian tradition and to the pursuit of a more rounded theological vision of what it is to be human in God’s world.
As well as attracting postgraduate students from all over the world, ITIA hosts regular seminars, conferences, colloquia and public events here in St Andrews, and its work is well represented in the publications of its staff and students (including a series linked directly to its work and hosted by Ashgate). We see our role very much in terms of providing occasion and opportunity for those with serious interest in the relationship between theology and the arts to enter into conversation with one another, and it is particularly exciting to be able now to extend the range of those conversations by entering into partnership with Transpositions! I hope you will feel part of the important work ITIA is doing as you participate in this online community. As of the Fall of 2014, Dr. Gavin Hopps has served as the Director of the Institute and ex officio Editor of Transpositions.