Journal Article

THE CRITIQUE OF ANGLICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP IN GEORGE ELIOT'S <i>MIDDLEMARCH</i>

Lisa Baltazar

in Literature and Theology

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 40-60
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/15.1.40
THE CRITIQUE OF ANGLICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP IN GEORGE ELIOT'S MIDDLEMARCH

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George Eliot early repudiated supernatural Christianity, but she continued to regard the Bible as an irreplaceable cultural repository and ethical source, enthusiastically embracing the new historical critical method, and viewing with repugnance the reactionary apologetics offered by Anglican scholars in support of the doctrine of biblical infallibilism. The extent of Eliot's interest in and knowledge of these matters has not, for the most part, been fully realised. Eliot was a biblical scholar in her own right, proficient in Greek, Latin and German, and well-versed in the intersecting disciplines of philology and mythography This expertise finds a fictional outlet in Middlemarch. The Reverend Edward Casaubon is engaged in researches the aim of which is to prove etymologically the priority and historical accuracy of Genesis as over against the legendary accounts of other ancient civilisations, a project which to a large extent controls the action of the novel. Eliot's relentless critique of his ‘Key to All Mythologies’ amounts to an extremely informed debunking of the infallibilist position

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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