By Hilary Fraser
This research is a vital contribution to the highbrow background of Victorian England which examines the religio-aesthetic theories of a few imperative writers of the time. Dr Fraser starts with a dialogue of the classy dimensions of Tractarian theology after which proceeds to the orthodox certainties of Hopkins' concept of inscape, Ruskin's and Arnold's moralistic feedback of literature and the visible arts, and Pater's and Wilde's religion in a faith of paintings. the writer identifies major cultural and old stipulations which made up our minds the interdependence of aesthetic and non secular sensibility within the interval. She argues that yes tensions within the considered Wordsworth and Coleridge - tensions among poetry and faith, uprising and response, individualism and authority - persevered to appear themselves during the Victorian age, and as society grew to become more and more democratic, faith in flip grew to become more and more own and secular.
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Extra resources for Beauty and Belief: Aesthetics and Religion in Victorian Literature
96 Like the Cambridge Neo-Platonists, Coleridge thought of Christianity and the Church in terms appropriate to a work of art. His account of the nature of faith, conscience, and man's moral being as poetical, sacro sanct, beyond the bounds of human understanding, provided the crucial foundations upon which the Tractarians could build their theology. Keble and Newman saw literature and religion as parallel influences on life and were constantly linking the two, finding analogies between religious experience and the artistic and cultural imagination.
It discerns in lines and colours, or in tones, what is beautiful and what is not. It gives them a meaning and invests them with an idea. It gathers up a succession of notes into the expression of a whole, and calls it a melody; it has a keen sensibility towards angles and curves, lights and shadow, tints and contours. I t distinguishes between rule and exception, between accident and design. It assigns phenomena to a general law, qualities to a subject, acts to a principle, and effects to a cause.
Religion and poetry are at one in demanding the same temper of mind and providing a framework for the articulation of man's strongest feelings and a means to the attainment of highest truth. In his discussion of the relationship between religion and poetry, Keble finds two levels of connection: historical and symbolical. Historically, he argues, poetry has frequently paved the way for new developments in religion. In the Lectures on Poetry he draws upon his knowledge of the Old Testament, Hebrew poetry, and the classics to support his argument that there has rarely been a religious revival without a poetic precursor, a 'noble order of poetry'.
Beauty and Belief: Aesthetics and Religion in Victorian Literature by Hilary Fraser