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

Barth, J. Robert

Published by Univ of Missouri Pr, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., 2003
ISBN 10: 0826214533 / ISBN 13: 9780826214539
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Title: Romanticism and Transcendence: Wordsworth, ...

Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

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A clean and well preserved copy with no internal markings other than the authors inscription inside the front endpaper. Bookseller Inventory # 001429

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Synopsis: Grounded in the thought of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, this text explores the religious dimensions of imagination in the Romantic tradition, both theoretically and in the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge. J. 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 discusses the relationship between Romanticism and religion, arguing that the Romantic imagination - with the symbolic import of its very nature - has religious implications. He studies the role of religious experience in Wordsworth, using "The Prelude" as a privileged source. 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". Barth examines the continuing role of the Romantic idea of the religious imagination today and concludes this book by 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 inter-related but are not often seen in relationship. By exploring levels of Wordsworth and Coleridge's poetry that are often ignored, Barth provides a poignant understanding of how and why the imagination was so important to their sense of poetry. He also demonstrates how rich with religious value and meaning poetry itself can be. The interdisciplinary nature of this study should 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 19th century and to theologians in general.

About the Author: 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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