Modernism and Religion argues that modernism participated in broader processes of religious change in the twentieth century. The new prominence accorded to immanence and immediacy in religious discourse is carried over into the modernist epiphany. Modernism became mystical. The emergence of Catholic theological modernism, human rights, Christian sociology, and philosophical personalism, which are explored here in relation to the work of David Jones, T. S. Eliot, and H.D., represented a strategic attempt on the part of diverse religious authorities to meet the challenge posed by new mysticism. Orthodoxy was itself made new in ways that resisted the secular demand that religion remain a private undertaking. Modernism and Religion presents the mechanical form and clashing registers of long poems by each of the aforementioned writers as an alternative to epiphanic modernism. Their wavering orthodoxy brings matters from which the secular had previously separated religion back once more into its purview.
Jamie Callison is Associate Professor of English Literature at University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway, where he teaches courses on poetry and poetics, modernism and religion and literature. His articles on T. S. Eliot, David Jones and twentieth-century religious culture have appeared in ELH, Literature and Theology and Modernist Cultures. He has published (with Thomas Goldpaugh) a critical edition of a previously unpublished book-length poem by the modernist poet and painter David Jones entitled The Grail Mass (2018). Modernism and Religion: Between Mysticism and Orthodoxy is his first monograph.
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