This dissertation examines the intersection between religion, Wordsworthian Romanticism, and conceptions of secularization. Taking cues from M. H. Abrams much of the Romantic criticism of the past fifty years has assumed that poets like Wordsworth followed a normative secularization trajectory. Abrams argues that the Romantics hollowed out sacred terms allowing them to signify in secular ways. It is a subtractionist model of secularization, whereby religion diminishes or loses force in contemporary society. New conceptions of secularization, however, argue that religion is not disappearing, but instead it is relocating and changing to its new environment. Building on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, Colin Jager's The Book of God, and Jonathan Sheehan's The Enlightenment Bible I examine how new conceptions of secularization encourage new readings of Wordsworthian Romanticism. These new readings allow us to return to Wordsworth's poetry looking for intersections of religion and secularization previously unexamined. They also allow for new understandings of Wordsworth in Victorian and contemporary society. After examining these new conceptions of secularization and applying them to Wordsworth's poetry, I move on to examine how this new work proves useful in examining the Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell and the contemporary Christian movement known as the Emergent church. I conclude by demonstrating a practical outcome for this research in the field of ecocrticism, which demonstrates how these new readings expand the ecocritical discourse in useful ways.
|Commitee:||Johnson, David, McMahon, Darrin, O'Rourke, James|
|School:||The Florida State University|
|Department:||Arts & Sciences - Humanities|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, British and Irish literature|
|Keywords:||Emergent church, McLaren, Brian, Romanticism, Secularization, Taylor, Charles, Wordsworth, William|
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