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

Kirstie Blair

in Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644506
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741593 | DOI:
‘Beyond the Forms of Faith?’ Tennyson and the Broad Church

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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

Chapter.  14869 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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