For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Blue Flower

Fr Anthony Chadwick has published the first Summer issue of The Blue Flower, for which I have written an article about William Morris, Romantic medievalism and the Tractarians. The starting point for my piece is Morris's Art and Labour, an essay that I came across in the Queen's University library in Belfast over 15 years ago, and that stuck with me. 

The governing Romantic motif of a return to a golden age or Eden by means of a transformed imagination is a secularised and internalised version of Christian redemption, and the Romantics' turn to the Middle Ages for inspiration is an aesthetic witness to this underlying Christian foundation for their philosophy. The argument in the piece is that the Tractarians - Pusey in particular, with a helping hand from Coleridge - re-Christianised the Romantic philosophy and aesthetic in their ideas of language and symbol.

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