Romanticism and Transcendence: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Religious Imagination

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University of Missouri Press, 2003 - Всего страниц: 146

Grounded in the thought of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Romanticism and Transcendence explores the religious dimensions of imagination in the Romantic tradition, both theoretically and in the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge. J. Robert Barth suggests that we may look to Coleridge for the theoretical grounding of the view of religious imagination proposed in this book, but that it is in Wordsworth above all that we see this imagination at work.

Barth first argues that the Romantic imagination--with its profound symbolic import--of its very nature has religious implications, and notes parallels between Coleridge's view of the imagination and that of Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. He then turns to the role of religious experience in Wordsworth, using The Prelude as a privileged source. Next, after comparing the conception of humanity and God in Wordsworth and Coleridge, Barth considers the role of religious experience and imagery in two of Coleridge's central poetic texts, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. Finally, Barth examines the continuing role of the Romantic idea of the religious imagination today, in literature and all the arts, linking it with the thought of theologian Karl Rahner and literary critic George Steiner.

Romanticism and Transcendence brings together literary theory, poetry, and religious experience, areas that are interrelated but are often not seen in relationship. By exploring levels of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's poetry that are often ignored, Barth provides insight into how and why the imagination was so important to their work. He also demonstrates how rich with religious value and meaning poetry and the arts can be.

The interdisciplinary nature of this important new study will make it useful not only to Wordsworth and Coleridge scholars and other Romantic specialists, but also to anyone concerned with the intellectual history of the nineteenth century and to theologians in general.

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Visions and Revisions The Journey to the 1850 Prelude
The Poet Death and Immortality The Prelude Book 5
Time and the Timeless The Temporal Imagination in The Prelude
The Feeding Source Imagination and the Transcendent in The Prelude
The Role of Humankind in the Poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge
A Spring of Love Prayer and Blessing in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
In the Midnight Wood The Power and Limits of Prayer in Christabel
Religious Imagination and the Transcendence of Art
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J. Robert Barth, S.J., is the James P. McIntyre Professor of English at Boston College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Fountain Light: Studies in Romanticism and Religion; Coleridge and the Power of Love; and The Symbolic Imagination: Coleridge and the Romantic Tradition.

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