Questioning Closure

John Beer

in Coleridge's Play of Mind

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574018
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723100 | DOI:
Questioning Closure

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Life in Highgate proves peaceful but somewhat unfulfilling. Coleridge's persisting battle with opium addiction, in which he is only partly triumphant, is accompanied by sad recognition that his love for Sara Hutchinson is now dead. At the same time, interest is being shown by some young men in developing his ideas—notably his having advocated the cultivation of a ‘clerisy’. John Sterling, one of his chief disciples, is nevertheless disillusioned to find him less reliable and less truthful than he had hoped and expected. Coleridge himself is pleased to acknowledge in Anglicanism a steady resource, writing an essay in exposition of his views in which he urges the importance of distinguishing between the Church as ecclesia and as enclesia; yet he mourns his inability to find true fellowship in any Christian body. Some riddles, also, are still unsolved. Notably, while delighting in the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, Coleridge remains uncertain about the personality or impersonality of the divine at a fuller level.

Keywords: opium; love; clerisy; anglicanism; ecclesia; enclesia; personality; impersonality

Chapter.  6545 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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