Building upon the evidence that John Henry Newman’s
Parochial Sermons is a georgic (Lams, 2004), the current book defines and discusses the visionary georgic, a subset of the genre whose exemplars include Lucretius’
De rerum natura and Wordsworth’s
The Prelude. Newman’s visionary georgic defends Christian revelation against the rationalistic subjectivism that tended to displace religious faith by Wordsworthian self-exploration, leading to the Victorian redefinition of literature as secular scripture. Subjects discussed include Newman’s relations with readers, his sermonic rhetoric, and his analysis of doctrines celebrated in the Church’s liturgy.