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Charles Darwin and the Church of Wordsworth | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Charles Darwin and the Church of Wordsworth

Robert M. Ryan

Abstract

Charles Darwin presented On the Origin of Species to a reading public whose affective response to the natural world had been profoundly influenced by Wordsworth’s understanding of nature as benign, harmonious, a source of moral inspiration and spiritual blessing, and a medium through which one might enter into communion with the Divine. Long after his death Wordsworth continued to be revered throughout the English-speaking world not only as a great poet but as a theologian with a broader following than any prelate and an appeal that transcended or ignored sectarian differences. For believers a ... More

Keywords: Wordsworth, Darwin, nature, theology, science, evolution, poetry, religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198757351
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757351.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert M. Ryan, author
Emeritus Professor of English, Rutgers University