Thanks, John, for the pointers.  That is very helpful.  Eliot made such a
to-do about his faith, especially in the latter part of his life.  His
arrogance and judgmentalness, however, contradict what some would say are
basic teachings of his faith; so perhaps those behaviors are channeled
through Puritan New England roots.  But where did the god connection come
from, and the mysticism come from?  I can see that the mysticism may have
come from the poets (Dante, Baudelaire), but where did the god connection
come from?  His mother?



On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM, John Morgenstern <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> John,
> Your query assumes nothing (implicitly or otherwise) other than that
> you're interested in thinking more about Eliot's faith (or, as some might
> say, "struggle with faith"). You're right to remark that Pound's early
> reactions to Eliot's Catholicism were hardly positive and a host of critics
> have since responded rather dismissively to it (William Skaff, Adam Kirsch,
> and the Catholic writer Joseph Bottum to name a few). Your question is a
> serious one, which should not be dismissed so easily, and certainly not
> with closed-mindedness.
> There's a substantial body of scholarship on Eliot and religion. You might
> begin with a few critical biographies, which deal with the subject rather
> aptly and accessibly: Denis Donoghue's *Words Alone* (2000), Helen
> Gardner's *The Art of T. S. Eliot* (1949), or Russell Kirk's *Eliot and
> His Age* (revised edition 2008), all of which are still relevant. More
> recently, Barry Spurr  published a monograph on Eliot's Anglo-Catholicism,
> *Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity*, a condensed
> version of which appeared in *T. S. Eliot in Context*, edited by Jason
> Harding. Later this year, the journal *Religion and Literature* will
> publish a special issue on Eliot's religion (edited by Craig Woelfel
> and Dominic Manganiello) and Benjamin Lockerd is editing a case study on
> the subject for Farleigh Dickinson University Press.
> I hope this list helps. No doubt other modernists would suggest
> alternative points of departure, but this list should at least give you a
> place to break in.
> Kindest wishes,
> John
> On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hallo
>> The reasoning implicit in your query appears to be that 'belief in God'
>> wasn't / isn't the rational or proper personal faith of someone of Eliot's
>> intellectual calibre.
>> That, I'd suggest, unjustifiably belittles the intellectual capacities of
>> both Eliot and a veritiable host of others.
>> On 29 May 2012 18:19, John Angell Grant <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>> 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.
>>> John