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Thanks for the pointer, Peter.  I guess an understanding of what god was
for Eliot is part of what I'm looking for.  I'm guessing he knew a lot of
the literature of debate between the English Anglicans and the English
Roman Catholics, before he made his choice for Anglicanism and some form of
its theology.  Where did he weigh in on the 39 Articles, and related
theological and political debate, the Trinity, etc.  Some of these
questions may be addressed in the scholarly sources offered over the last
day; I haven't gotten to them yet.  Thanks, everybody, for the
thoughtfulness.  I just read Lytton Strachey's fabulous collection of four
short biographies "Eminent Victorians," which wanders through the
Anglican-Roman Catholic conflict from various perspectives.  I'm thinking
Eliot probably had opinions on those people, and on their striking belief
systems.

j.

On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>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
> Eliot's
> 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
> like:
> 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
> close.
> Eliot's work was so broad and deep, it is hard to hang on to every bit of
> it.
>
> Again, I am interested in your definition of the being in which you say
> Eliot believed.
>
> Cheers,
> Peter
> ----- 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.
>
>
> John
>