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This conference paper was originally published as:

Skrzypaszek, J. (2016, November). The time of crisis and prophetic imagination. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, San Antonio, TX.


220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified

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This paper aims to explore the correlation between Ellen White’s Lovett Grove, The Great Controversy vision (1858) and the Otsego health vision (1863) in the context of the Civil War (1861-1865). It argues that the prevailing social, political and religious condition, both in the American society and within the progressively growing Sabbatarian Adventist movement prepared the ground for an injection of a new prophetic vision. As observed, in a time of crisis inspired prophetic imagination unfolds a visualization of a new world given by God. Further, it ignites a conviction in God’s presence and His will for the world. The paper suggests that the named visions emerged in the context of human longing for justice, emancipation from oppression and freedom to develop human value, uniqueness, and potential in an environment of liberty. It also demonstrates that the emerged crisis included a spiritual demise within the ranks of the progressively growing Sabbatarian Adventists. Hence, as early as 1857, one observes Ellen White’s calls for spiritual reorientation. In consequence, the prevailing conditions generated a need for a reassuring vision that God, the Creator is an active agent in the world, One who provides a challenge for the community of faith both to relinquish old views and to receive an inspirational framework of a new future-oriented perspective of life. The paper suggests that the divinely crafted prophetic imagination of the named visions aimed to re-energize the growing movement with a new gist of spiritual purpose for life in the eschatological time of waiting for the Second Advent. Finally, the paper aims to demonstrate that the development of The Great Controversy theme and Ellen White’s literary contribution between 1888 and 1911 provided an inspirational, visionary pathway for spiritual authenticity that augments human, value, uniqueness, and potential. More so importantly, it argues that such a divinely inspired prophetic imagination offers a relationally oriented point of reference secured in a relevant to life’s journey implicit trust and confidence in God.


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