Coleridge and the Inspired Word

Overview


This movement radically revised the interpretation of the Bible as an "inspired" book and also helped to redefine the inspiration attributed to poets, since many poets of the period, including Coleridge himself, wished to emulate the prophetic voice of biblical tradition. Coleridge's mastery of this new study and his search for a new understanding of the Bible on which to ground his faith are the focus of this book. Beginning with an exposition of Coleridge's double role as theologian and poet, Anthony Harding ...
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Overview


This movement radically revised the interpretation of the Bible as an "inspired" book and also helped to redefine the inspiration attributed to poets, since many poets of the period, including Coleridge himself, wished to emulate the prophetic voice of biblical tradition. Coleridge's mastery of this new study and his search for a new understanding of the Bible on which to ground his faith are the focus of this book. Beginning with an exposition of Coleridge's double role as theologian and poet, Anthony Harding analyses the development and transmission of Coleridge's views of inspiration - both biblical and poetic - and provides a history of his theological and poetic ideas in their second generation, in England especially in the work of F.D. Maurice and John Sterling, and in America in that of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Harding argues that Coleridge's emphasis on the human integrity of the scriptural authors provided his contemporaries with a poetics of inspiration that seemed likely to restore to literature a "biblical" sense of the divine as a presence in the world. Coleridge's treatment of biblical inspiration is thus an important contribution to Romantic poetics as well as to biblical scholarship. His concept of inspiration is also linked directly to his literary theory and thus to the current debate over the reader's relation to text and author.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The contrast between Coleridge and Emerson ... is tellingly elucidated. Other scholars have covered many of the further topics Harding addresses in this fine book ... but by casting his treatment of such topics in the context of Coleridge's lifelong concern with the Bible, Harding seems to be breaking new ground. The coherence and clarity he achieves are vivid testimony to the pertinence of his interest in the evolving hermeneutics of inspiration." Modern Philosophy

"An important contribution to the literature on Coleridge and orthodox religious doctrine ... In tracing the changing concept of inspiration beyond Coleridge to those who were his disciples or who were simply influenced by him, Harding makes us understand in greater depth one facet of a relationship that Charles R. Sanders traced out in general in his [work]." Journal of English and German Philosophy

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Anthony John Harding is professor of English, University of Saskatchewan. He is the author of Coleridge and the Idea of Love, and The Reception of Myth in English Romanticism, and co-editor of The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, volume 5: 1827-1834, and Milton, the Metaphysicals, and Romanticism.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 3
I Beyond Mythology: Coleridge and the Legacy of the Enlightenment 29
II Beyond Nature: Naturphilosophie and Imagination 58
III Inspiration and Freedom: The "Letters on the Inspiration of the Scriptures" 74
IV The Broad Church, F. D. Maurice, and Coleridge's "Letters on the Inspiration of the Scriptures" 95
V John Sterling and the Universal Sense of the Divine 113
VI The Divinity in Man: Transcendentalism as Organized Innocence 138
Bibliography 167
Index 179
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