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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Shakespeare's Personal Faith
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0556  Thursday, 24 March 2005

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 12:20:05 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 20:31:00 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 12:20:05 -0600
Subject: 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

The problem seems to be "personal faith," which, like personal anything,
is innately indefinable because indefinite.

For example, we can say that Bunyan was a Baptist and shared beliefs
with others for whom that label was appropriate in the 17th century. But
that label does not define his personal faith because the term itself
covers a wide range of persons all with their own personal faiths and
all different.

So also with O'Connor and Lewis.

With the latter we can see another complication. In his boyhood he was
taken to church, but then, as he describes in "Surprised by Joy," he
abandoned Christianity for atheism. He was gradually driven away from
that belief and back to Christianity in a way he depicts in some detail
in that work. His good friend Tolkien, a devout Catholic, was
disappointed that he joined the Anglican communion and referred to his
religion as Ulster Protestant. The New Catholic Encyclopedia (as I
recall) claims that towards the end of his life he had drifted into
Catholicism, though he never became a Roman communicant.

It would obviously be highly dangerous to think that you had discovered
CSL's "personal faith" either through a close study of any one work or a
general look at the whole array. As with many other people, his personal
faith shifted in large ways over the course of his life, and, as he
talks about on many occasions, in small ways from moment to moment.

I think another concept (not just another word) is needed here.

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Mar 2005 20:31:00 -0000
Subject: 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0545 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

 >>Really? Give us an example.
 >
 >May I suggest two: John Bunyan and Flannery O'Connor
 >
 >Jack Heller

I must disagree with Jack about Flannery O'Connor.  I read Wise Blood
after seeing John Huston's film and assumed she was some sort of
born-again mad Baptist.

Peter Bridgman

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