Journal Article

FIRE AND SPIRIT: SCRIPTURE'S SHAPING PRESENCE IN T.S. ELIOT'S <i>FOUR QUARTETS</i>

Cornelia Cook

in Literature and Theology

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 85-101
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/15.1.85
FIRE AND SPIRIT: SCRIPTURE'S SHAPING PRESENCE IN T.S. ELIOT'S FOUR QUARTETS

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The predominant scriptural model for T S. Eliot's early works was apocalyptic. In Four Quartets the poet's embrace of the medieval tradition which informed his chosen anglo-catholicism produces a new language which finds its scriptural affinities elsewhere, notably in the rhetorical strategies and significant motifs of gospel writing Meditation on moments of epiphany produces an awareness of pentecostal presence which requires and values language and associates itself with tradition. A new inflexion emphasises Incarnation, opposing the teleologies of progressivism or apo-calyptic with an equivalence of ‘now’ and ‘always’ The associated motifs of baptism, purgatory and Pentecost are interwoven in Four Quartets to form an argument which revalues the world, language and history

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

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