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English critics were brilliant initiators and exploiters of biblical criticism. This momentous exercise, whereby the 'Holy Scriptures' became the object of human critique independent of church control, is illustrated by John Drury in the present volume with excerpts from such famous critics as Coleridge, Blake and Matthew Arnold, and lesser names such as Collins and Deist and Bishop Sherlock. Robert Lowth's famous lectures on the Psalms, which had an important influence on Blake and Christopher Smart, are well represented here, as is the famous contribution to Essays and Reviews by Benjamin Jowett. This book provides the only available collection of biblical criticism from this important period of critical enquiry, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The extracts are accompanied by a full editorial introduction, notes and a bibliography. They should be read by all students of literature and theology interested in the period.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Editorial note; Introductory essays; 1. Discourse of the grounds and reasons of the christian religion (1724) Anthony Collins; 2. Discourses on the use and intent of prophecy (1726) Thomas Sherlock; 3. Lectures on the sacred poetry of the Hebrews (1753) Robert Lowth; 4. The marriage of heaven and hell (1790) William Blake; 5. Confessions of an inquiring spirit (1825) Samuel Taylor Coleridge; 6. On the right interpretation and understanding of the scriptures (1829) Thomas Arnold; 7. On the interpretation of scripture from Essays and Reviews (1860) Benjamin Jowett; 8. Literature and dogma (1873) Matthew Arnold; Notes; Select booklist.