If imagination is understood to be a human response to the self-revelation of God, what practical results might this have for the work both of literary criticism and theology? In contrast to the freedom of the literary imagination, Christian doctrine seems to hedge meaning around with limits, distilling concepts from images, and summing up the loose ends of stories in one unified story. But the author sets out to show how image and story in poetry and novels can actually help the theologian to make doctrinal statements, while at the same time insights gained from theology can assist the critical reading of literature. Indeed, both theologians and creative writers find human existence to be characterized by an even more basic tension between freedom and limit, which accounts for a sense of "fallenness", and which a dialogue between literature and Christian doctrine can do much to illuminate. Such a dialogue is worked out in studies of the poetry of William Blake and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the novels of D.H.Lawrence, Iris Murdoch and William Golding.