Clergy in crisis : three Victorian portrayals of Anglican clergymen forced to redefine their faith

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dc.contributor.advisor Jennings, C. Wade en_US Jordan, Pamela L. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial e-uk-en en_US 2011-06-03T19:27:27Z 2011-06-03T19:27:27Z 1997 en_US 1997
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1997 .J67 en_US
dc.description.abstract Three late Victorian novels provide significant insight into the Victorian crisis of faith because of their singleminded focus on an Anglican clergyman facing the issues that undermined received belief after 1860. William Winwood Reade's The Outcast (1875), Mrs. Humphry Ward's Robert Elsmere (1888), and George MacDonald's Thomas Wingfold, Curate (1876) cast the theme of doubt in a fresh light by systematically exploring what happens when a clergyman entertains doubt and investigates issues of faith and the ideas of evolutionary theory and higher criticism.Each novelist's distinctive perspective on the Victorian crisis of faith clearly shapes the delineation of the protagonist's crisis, determines which aspects of his crisis receive emphasis, and reflects the novelist's purpose for exploring doubt in a clergyman. Of deep interest is what these novelists achieve by exploring an Anglican clergyman's crisis of faith. First, using an Anglican clergyman as protagonist allows the novelists to explore the impact of doubt on the Established Church and the ramifications of doubt for a clergyman. Second, exploring a clergyman's crisis of faith allows the novelists to comment on how the Church failed to respond adequately to the Victorian crisis of faith. Third, the redefinition of faith advocated by all three novelists is best portrayed through an Anglican clergyman.In The Outcast Edward Mordaunt loses his traditional faith because of science, and through him, Reade suggests that the rejection of orthodoxy is the natural result of accepting the scientists' claims. He offers natural religion as a substitute for Christianity and uses the experience of his protagonist to criticize orthodox belief and intolerance. In Robert Elsmere Mrs. Ward defends intellectuals who accommodated their belief to new knowledge. She uses Robert Elsmere to show that accommodation is both possible and necessary and to accentuate the potential for social change when a sincere clergyman comes to terms with the claims of historical criticism. In Thomas Wingfold, Curate MacDonald acknowledges that the claims of science and higher criticism should be considered but suggests that they are not enough reason not to believe. He uses Thomas Wingfold to demonstrate a desirable approach to doubt and to argue for change from within the Church. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.format.extent 210 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Clergy -- England -- History -- 19th century. en_US
dc.subject.other Church of England -- Clergy -- Psychology. en_US
dc.title Clergy in crisis : three Victorian portrayals of Anglican clergymen forced to redefine their faith en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3121]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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