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Coleridge and Scepticism$
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Ben Brice

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290253.001.0001

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‘That Uncertain Heaven’: Coleridge's Poetry and Prose 1795 to 1805

‘That Uncertain Heaven’: Coleridge's Poetry and Prose 1795 to 1805

(p.94) 3 ‘That Uncertain Heaven’: Coleridge's Poetry and Prose 1795 to 1805
Coleridge and Scepticism

Ben Brice

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of a range of Coleridge's early writings in which he explores his uncertain faith in his ability to read the handwriting of God in nature. It then turns to Coleridge's Lectures on Revealed Religion (1795), in which his early debts to post-Newtonian natural religion are made explicit. Coleridge's poem, Religious Musings, is discussed. The chapter continues with a detailed examination of three important ‘Conversation’ poems: Fears in Solitude, France: an Ode, and Frost at Midnight published together in 1798, which further reveal Coleridge's religious uncertainty, and its connection with his sense of being fallen. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the poem, Dejection: An Ode, in which a state of creative sterility is again linked by the poet with a sense of being fallen.

Keywords:   revealed religion, post-Newtonian, natural religion, Religious Musings, Fears in Solitude, France: an Ode, Frost at Midnight, Dejection: An Ode, fallen

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