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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Shakespeare's Personal Faith
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0545  Wednesday, 23 March 2005

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Mar 2005 12:51:00 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Mar 2005 14:58:01 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[3]     From:   Matthew Baynham <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 09:52:54 -0000
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[4]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 07:52:05 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Mar 2005 12:51:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

 >>You go too far. It (the idea that you can dredge up an author's
 >>'personal
 >>faith' by means of a close analysis of his or her writings ) depends
 >>on the
 >>author (and the writings). In /some/ cases, it's quite easy.
 >
 >Really? Give us an example.

May I suggest two: John Bunyan and Flannery O'Connor

Jack Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Mar 2005 14:58:01 -0500
Subject: 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Terence Hawkes <
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 >>John W. Kennedy writes,
 >>
 >>You go too far. It (the idea that you can dredge up an author's
 >>'personal faith' by means of a close analysis of his or her
 >>writings ) depends on the author (and the writings). In /some/
 >>cases, it's quite easy.
 >
 >Really? Give us an example.

"The Chronicles of Narnia", to select from the bleedin' obvious.

Or, to take a somewhat subtler and more recent example, "Tathea", by
Anne Perry. (I readily grant that no-one would ever guess her religion
for a moment, based only on her detective novels.)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Baynham <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 09:52:54 -0000
Subject:        Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Sorry to sound like an Anglican; but it's all relative, isn't it?

I do a bit of work on Austen. Since she herself wrote that Mansfield
Park was 'about ordination' and, at about the same time, that she was
not sure that 'we ought not all to be Evangelicals' (may not be the
exact quote), there's a legitimate enquiry about how her changing faith
affected her view of ordination and of what Anglican clergy ought to be
like, and how that's expressed in this novel. Compare, for example,
Henry Tilney and Edmund Bertram: does the greater seriousness which the
latter brings to his understanding of ordination compared to the former
reflect a development in Austen's own faith, or just a closer thematic
focus in Mansfield Park?

I don't for a minute suggest that you can't analyse the artistic effect
of Mansfield Park without asking that sort of question; nor that the
question is ultimately fully answerable. But we ask plenty of questions
of which those two caveats are true: (eg how does Mansfield Park reflect
contemporary thinking about landscape improvement?) and they're still
interesting and valid questions, I think.

Matthew Baynham

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 07:52:05 -0500
Subject: Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        SHK 16.0535 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Bill Godshalk asks,

 >Is this true of Terry's own work? . . .  He really doesn't have a
 >political stance that a reader might find upon close analysis?

It's humbling to find Bill poring over my words in his latter years. It
almost makes me feel like Brian Vickers. Still, I suppose anything is a
relief from the excesses of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival.

T. Hawkes

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