The practice of reading is increasingly endangered as young people intensify their interaction with the new media. Reading literature, however, is a potent source of moral formation, shaping the moral imagination. The article draws on contemporary neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and creativity studies to conceptualize the imagination and describe the special role of the moral imagination. It explores claims about the ways literature shapes the moral imagination, drawing on the findings of an empirical study of young adults who were avid readers of the Harry Potter series as children and youth.
Maxine Sheets-JohnstoneThe Roots of Morality (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press2008). Martin Hoffman Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2000).