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Coleridge's Play of Mind$
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John Beer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574018.001.0001

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Questioning Closure

Questioning Closure

(p.223) 16 Questioning Closure
Coleridge's Play of Mind

John Beer

Oxford University Press

Life in Highgate proves peaceful but somewhat unfulfilling. Coleridge's persisting battle with opium addiction, in which he is only partly triumphant, is accompanied by sad recognition that his love for Sara Hutchinson is now dead. At the same time, interest is being shown by some young men in developing his ideas—notably his having advocated the cultivation of a ‘clerisy’. John Sterling, one of his chief disciples, is nevertheless disillusioned to find him less reliable and less truthful than he had hoped and expected. Coleridge himself is pleased to acknowledge in Anglicanism a steady resource, writing an essay in exposition of his views in which he urges the importance of distinguishing between the Church as ecclesia and as enclesia; yet he mourns his inability to find true fellowship in any Christian body. Some riddles, also, are still unsolved. Notably, while delighting in the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, Coleridge remains uncertain about the personality or impersonality of the divine at a fuller level.

Keywords:   opium, love, clerisy, anglicanism, ecclesia, enclesia, personality, impersonality

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