Marcia, I too look forward to clarification of Ishak's remark:

"In his childhood Eliot was influenced by Unitarianism -- the belief in the Father with the exclusion of the Son and the Holy Ghost. As this belief is outside the proper domain of Christianity...."

Note however that he does not say Unitarianism is not Christian, but implies that its belief lies outside the orthodox Christian belief system. In a previous discussion on this list the Nicene Creed was established as expressing that orthodox system: A quick google search brought the following:

"To counter a widening rift within the church, Constantine convened a council in Nicaea in A.D. 325. A creed reflecting the position of Alexander and Athanasius was written and signed by a majority of the bishops. Nevertheless, the two parties continued to battle each other. In A.D. 381, a second council met in Constantinople. It adopted a revised and expanded form of the A.D. 325 creed, now known as the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed is the most ecumenical of creeds. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins with Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and most Protestant churches in affirming it. Nevertheless, in contrast to Eastern Orthodox churches, the western churches state that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but from the Father and the Son (Latin, filioque). To the eastern churches, saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son threatens the distinctiveness of the person of the Holy Spirit; to the western churches, the filioque guards the unity of the triune God. This issue remains unresolved in the ecumenical dialogue."

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Hope this helps a bit. Diana

Marcia wrote:

I am an outsider to such nice distinctions, so could someone clarify, please, the quotation from FM Ishak.  My question is whether he or she is correct in implying that Unitarianism is not a Christian sect.

I question, too, whether the "As this belief" properly documents a cause.

And, too, if "his leanings go back several years" before 1925, what is the special limiting significance of the year 1925?  What about poems written as he was leaning, but before conversion?  What circumstances, spiritual or otherwise, really mark 1925 as different from the leaning years?


Diana Manister wrote:

>In a note in his book The Mystical Philosophy of T.S. Eliot, Fayek
>M. Ishak writes:
>  "In his childhood Eliot was influenced by Unitarianism -- the
>belief in the Father with the exclusion of the Son and the Holy
>Ghost. As this belief is outside the proper domain of Christianity,
>it was abandoned by the poet even before he reached maturity."
>  In another note he writes:
>  "Eliot's conversion to Anglo-Catholicism occurred during 1925-1928
>(his leanings go back several years.) ...It is significant that this
>period falls between "The Hollow Men" (1925) and Ash Wednesday
>  Diana