Fostering the moral imagination of the next generation is an important aspiration of classical Christian education. Through the power of story in the Great Books and lived out examples of virtue, moral imagination is developed.
Edmund Burke reflecting on the French Revolution and the loss of moral imagination said this; “All the decent
drapery of life is to be rudely torn off. All the superadded ideas, furnished from the wardrobe of a moral imagination, which the heart owns, and the understanding ratifies, as necessary to cover the defects of our naked shivering nature, and to raise it to dignity in our own estimation, are to be exploded as a ridiculous, absurd and antiquated fashion. On this scheme of things, a king is but a man; a queen is but a woman; a woman is but an animal; and an animal not of the highest order. All homage paid to the sex in general as such and without distinct views, is to be regarded as romance and folly….On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations, or can spate to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”
Whether in France in the 1780’s or Canada in the 2020’s we need a Holy Ghost revival and a national restoration of our moral imagination.