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Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion$
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Kirstie Blair

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644506.001.0001

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‘Beyond the Forms of Faith?’ Tennyson and the Broad Church

‘Beyond the Forms of Faith?’ Tennyson and the Broad Church

(p.163) 5 ‘Beyond the Forms of Faith?’ Tennyson and the Broad Church
Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion

Kirstie Blair

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Tennyson, but, like Chapter 4, also reads his work as representative of a particular branch of Victorian Christianity. In Tennyson’s case, In Memoriam was widely read as a salvo fired by the Broad Church, and Tennyson’s personal friendships with many of the leading figures in this nebulous grouping — F. D. Maurice in particular — added strength to this reading. After introducing the fundamentals of ‘Broad Church’ thought with relation to form, I offer a close reading of form in In Memoriam and its relation to the writings of religious authors such as Maurice, Benjamin Jowett, and F. W. Robertson. The final section of the chapter considers Tennyson’s late poem ‘Akbar’s Dream’, which assesses forms in relation to comparative religion.

Keywords:   Tennyson, Broad Church, comparative religion, In Memoriam

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