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God & the GothicReligion, Romance, & Reality in the English Literary Tradition$
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Alison Milbank

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824466.001.0001

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Finding a Via Media

Finding a Via Media

Bram Stoker and Mediation

Chapter:
(p.225) 11 Finding a Via Media
Source:
God & the Gothic
Author(s):

Alison Milbank

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198824466.003.0012

The theological dimension to Bram Stoker’s work is totally neglected and yet, like Maturin, Stoker can be shown to be seeking a mediation between Catholic and Protestant, and Irish and English, with The Snake’s Pass an allegory of this proto-ecumenism. The influence of the Anglican idea of the via media, central to Victorian theology, is traced in his work, and compared with the influence of Walt Whitman’s model of comradeship and nation. In particular, F. D. Maurice’s inclusive ecclesiology is at work in Dracula, where the vampire acts as an Antichrist whose economy of substitutionary sacrifice is opposed by a union of Protestant word (diaries, typing) and Catholic sacramentals (Eucharistic host, etc.) and acts of mutual self-sacrifice and reciprocity such as the blood-transfusions. Maurice’s questioning of eternal damnation and Gladstone’s idea of immortal life as a gift are also important in a novel that aims to redeem even Dracula himself.

Keywords:   Bram Stoker, F. D. Maurice, W. E. Gladstone, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, sacrifice, vampire, via media, Anglicanism, ecumenism

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