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The Enclosure of an Open Mystery

Sacrament and Incarnation in the Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins, David Jones and Les Murray

by Stephen McInerney (Author)
©2013 Monographs IX, 273 Pages
Series: Modern Poetry, Volume 7

Summary

The similarities and differences between poetry and worship have intrigued writers since at least the nineteenth century, when John Keble declared that poetic symbols could almost partake of the nature of sacraments. Since then poets, philosophers and literary critics alike have evoked the terms ‘sacrament’ and ‘incarnation’ to make claims about art and poetry. Extending and challenging this critical tradition, this book explores the influence of sacramental belief on the works of three Roman Catholic poets: the nineteenth-century Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Anglo-Welsh artist David Jones and the Australian poet Les Murray. The author explores the idea that the incarnation and the sacraments embody both God’s immanence and God’s transcendence and argues that Hopkins, Jones and Murray all endeavour to enclose the ‘open mystery’ of the Divine while recognizing that it cannot be imprisoned. The volume sets their writings in conversation with each other’s, as well as with literary, philosophical and theological discourse. The result is a study that shows the wonders, the mysteries and the difficulties of the sacramental worldview and its central place in the writings of these three major Catholic poets.

Details

Pages
IX, 273
Year
2013
ISBN (PDF)
9783035304008
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783034307383
DOI
10.3726/978-3-0353-0400-8
Language
English
Publication date
2012 (October)
Keywords
immanence transcendence art poetry
Published
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. X, 273 pp.

Biographical notes

Stephen McInerney (Author)

Stephen McInerney is Senior Lecturer in Literature at Campion College, Sydney. He is the author of In Your Absence: Poems 1994-2002.

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Title: The Enclosure of an Open Mystery