This is actually an issue I hope to work on in my dissertation. It's a fairly complex issue, one that I don't fully understand at this point. I know it has something to do with his roots, but also not -- because he rejected Unitarianism early in his life because it was unsatisfying. A couple of my Unitarian friends in the T. S. Eliot society (including a couple who go to the Unitarian church Eliot's grandfather started) don't like that fact too much and try to pretend as if it weren't so. What Eliot ended up with -- Anglicanism -- I would argue is far different than Unitarianism (of course, also far different than the Eastern religion he had been toying with as well). I'm hoping it can be shown that there was an inevitable course from his early years of questioning to his entrance into the Anglican church. I just don't know how to demonstrate it yet.
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/04/04 03:20AM >>>
It's too long since Ihave read "For Launcelot Andrewes",
but I believe you will find some answers in there. As to
choosing Christianity over the easterns, the answer seems
to have been a matter of finding his roots and going with
the religion of his roots, in order to get to the core
of his religious consciosness. I forget where that is
stated. It isa sort of trueism in Eliot studies.
From: Tom Gray
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2004-Nov-03 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: Eliot's Anglicanism -- was Re: (OT) US Elections: Allustions
--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> There is a vast difference between working
> responsibly, caring for one's
> family, and helping the world be more supportive of
> humans (I would not
> use the word "prosperous" because of its
> connotations) and acquiring
> greater and greater quantities of wealth in fewer
> and fewer hands--which
> has the opposite effect from what you describe.
Millenarianism is a strong component of Protestantism.
The idea comes from Revelations in which Christ is
described as ruling over a kingdom in this world for a
thousand years. Anglicanism derives from the strain of
this which believes it is the responsibility of
humankind to physically prepare this kingdom for
I have always wondered about this in relation to the
philosophy that I see in Eliot's writing. How does the
image of failed individuals and failed societies in
Eliot's work relate to the millenarian principles
behind the faith that he actively studied and chose.
Anglicanism with its millenarianism is a faith of this
world. The faithful honor God's will by building a
paradise on this earth. This is in direct contrast to
Buddhism and Roman Catholicism which focus on
preparation for another world.
Eliot studied eastern religions. Why did he choose a
millenarian faith and how is that reflected in the
poems? This sounds like a question set for an
examination. However I really do not know the answer
to this and am asking for information.
> >>> [log in to unmask] 11/03/04 1:17 PM >>>
> --- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > reading of what Jesus said seems to suggest that
> > neither Bush nor many
> > of his followers have a clue about loving their
> > neighbor or caring for
> > the least of us or eschewing wealth.
> The idea of eschewing wealth is not universal in
> Christianity. In particular, it is not universally
> accepted in Protestantism or the faith of the Church
> of England, which Elliot took up. There is a strong
> millenarian tendency in Anglicanism. Followers
> that by supporting their families and creating a
> prosperous world, they are doing God's work and
> their neighbour. In doing so, they are creating
> kingdom in this world.
> This is certainly the type of Anglicanism that I was
> brought up in. It was the aspect of the faith that
> differentiated it from Roman Catholicism.
> I have wondered how this aspect of Anglicanism fits
> with Eliot's view of the world.
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