I would highly recommend Barry Spurr's BOOK "Anglo-Catholicism,
Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity" It is a
transformation of his doctoral thesis produce with the blessing of his
doctoral supervisor and of Mrs. Eliot (if memory seerves).
I am curious about your definition of "god" that you wish to understand
belief in. His arrival in belief was, as has been mentioned, a long and
winding road. As I remember, when he got to the querstion of becoming a
budddhist or hindu, he felt that culturally he could not make the jump. The
(for which I cannot provide a source. I read it long ago, and more recently
a more recent poet refer to it) is roughly, that if ne is a weaterner, one
cannot make the leap to another religion, and vice versa. In effect he could
not abandon his roots.
That he had strong mystical leanings I think one cannot deny. Barry Spurr
even provides an example of his having a mystical experience after receiving
communion. As a Catholic and an Anglican I seriously doubt that he made
a distinction between belief in God and mystical expeience. He seems to have
thought that mystical experience is experience of God.
You are right to present the matter as being a serious surprise and even let
down for his contemporaries. It seems many saw TWL as a kind of atheist
manifesto. In fact Ithink many still take it in that way. He was certainly
seriously punished by his coontemporaries for his so called juump. His
again a quote the source for which I cannot supply, but it went something
In an age in which everyone is trying to escape, a person going in the
opposite direction will seem to run away.--- That's not quite right, but
Eliot's work was so broad and deep, it is hard to hang on to every bit of
Again, I am interested in your definition of the being in which you say
----- Original Message -----
From: John Angell Grant
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:19 AM
Subject: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?
Why did T.S. Eliot believe in god?
Pound and others found Eliot's belief in god incomprehensible.
Can anyone steer me to the scholarship on this issue, the issue of why Eliot
believed in god?
Thanks in advance for any ideas.