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At 07:11 AM 11/4/2004 -0800, Vishvesh Obla  wrote:

>"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."
>
>I think Eliot didn't want to give up his identity as a
>Christian and a European, for it would be abandoning
>his roots.  That he was in the verge of abandoning it,
>but didn't is worth studying, for, I believe, it
>throws light on many of his Christian beliefs.

   The missing lynch pin in your speculation is Christ, i.e. in some form
or another, those of us who profess to be Christian profess belief that
Jesus is Christ. Paul Tillich, whose Systematic Theology, Vol I Eliot read
and pronounced profound, noted that one  message of Christianity is that
ultimately Christianity is not important; Christ is. Whether or not one is
a professing Christian, it is incumbent upon one to, at the very least,
account for the central element of Christianity when speculating on
"motives" of someone like T. S. Eliot.

  BTW, I never recovered from Tillich's metaphysical rendering of "symbol,"
what it is and how it works. I understand that he came in for much
criticism from contemporary and succeeding philosophers and theologians,
but I've not come across anything to disabuse me of his understanding of
symbol as something that   participates in the reality it symbolizes. I
don't think McLuhan much cared for Tillich (and Saul Bellow called him
Tillich the Toiler, an epithet I've always enjoyed), but it seems to me
that his understanding of the participatory nature of symbolism works
nicely with the balancing of oral/aural and visually based thinking that MM
called for.  Just a thought.


>Within Christianity, why he chose one form over
>another, is something I cannot understand, for I am
>not familiar with the belief systems.  But I am not so
>sure if Buddhism 'focuses on a preparation of another
>world', nor about the Upanishadic Hindu Religion.

   If one accepts that Jesus was/is the Christ, then these questions are
secondary, or, really, immaterial to choosing one's religion.

  I do hope you'll note that this is presented strictly in terms of logic,
but certainly on   a topic appropriate to an understanding of TSE.

Ken A.