Emily Dickinson : sensibility against rational religion Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p8418s483

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  • Emily Dickinson's religious poetry of the nineteenth century reveals a sensibility that resists traditional, orthodox Christianity. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate Dickinson's two-fold critique of rational religion. The poet does not merely oppose the existing pattern of interpretation with another; she questions the whole process of construing meaning. Dickinson's complaint against Christianity questions not faith itself, but the rational grounds for making meaning which religion has assumed from the Western philosophical tradition. Her sensibility asserts gender, material concerns, emotion, and imagination against reason's exclusive claim to express faith. Contemporary reviewers, like her critics a hundred years ago, place Dickinson either within traditional Christianity or outside, marshalling against it her own system of meaning. Now as then, a few observe that while her religious impulse clearly challenges orthodoxy, the poet's sensibility also disrupts construction of an opposing system.
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