Journal Article

‘God made Man Greater when He made Him Lessf’: Traherne’s Iconic Child

Edmund Newey

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 227-241
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frq012
‘God made Man Greater when He made Him Lessf’: Traherne’s Iconic Child

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Traherne’s child figure has often been read autobiographically and, seen through the misleading lenses of Vaughan and Wordsworth, interpreted as an instance of the author’s failure to treat evil with sufficient seriousness. Against these misconceptions, this article argues that the child is an iconic focus for Traherne’s understanding of the whole shape of human life before God, encompassing the mysteries of sin, grace and future glory, as much as the recollection of lost innocence. Re-reading the familiar poems and Centuries of Meditations in the light of newly published works, we can appreciate Traherne’s standing as a theologian who is both creative and orthodox: a powerful representative of the ‘forgotten strand in Anglican tradition’ that is the doctrine of participation in God.

Journal Article.  7033 words. 

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

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