It's a great question, Ken.
As I see it, Christianity in Europe since Gutenberg became something
of a social background, not a rel social influence except perhaps in style
The electranascence as pretty much trashed that, so society has losed its
Now religion is a do or die thing of the individual person, ala mother
Theresa and JP2,
and Eliot. Eliot and his ilk are the apostle to the intellectual classes who
over a cliff of nothingness. They think he was offering the religion warmed
over of the
Gutenberg era, but he wasn't. His was serious stuff about reality. Not many
but he did point a way. You pays yer money and takes your chances.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 4:51 AM
Subject: Re: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?
> As well, a complementary and bigger question might be why did Pound and
> others find Eliot's belief in God incomprehensible. As my old Eliot prof.
> wrote, Eliot wrote poetry of belief in an age of unbelief. What could
> cause such an age?
> Ken A
> On 5/29/2012 10:57 PM, Peter Montgomery wrote:
>> 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 quote
>> (for which I cannot provide a source. I read it long ago, and more
>> recently saw
>> 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 response was
>> 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
>> Eliot believed.
>> ----- 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.