Coleridge’s Christian Romanticism


This course will explore Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry through the lens of his philosophical and theological prose. Students will consider the shift of his intellectual project later in his life toward a Christian Romanticism, as Coleridge attempted to place reason, poetry, and imagination in right relationship with one another in the Christian’s pursuit for truth.

Taught by Anthony Cirilla.

Runs 7/4-8/26/22.

Note: due to the start of term beginning on a holiday, classes that are scheduled to meet on Monday will not meet for the first time until the week of 7/11; professors will schedule a make-up class somewhere during the term to cover the missed class time.

Auditing: participate in readings and live class sessions, but no graded assignments and no course credit
Full course part-time: individual classes on a for-credit basis; you can later apply them toward a Certificate or Degree
Full course full-time: for-credit courses (at least four per term) toward our Certificate or M.Litt in Classical Protestantism


This Literature course will be taught by Dr. Anthony Cirilla, and will run from July 4 through August 26. The syllabus is available here.

Coleridge today is mostly known as a poet, author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the conversation poems. But arguably later in life Coleridge thought of his intellectual project as a philosophical attempt to place poetry and the imagination into its proper place in the Christian’s pursuit for truth. Rejecting his former Socinianism, Coleridge wrote in his Confessio fidei, “The same difference, that exists between God and man, between giving and the declaration of a gift, exists between the Trinitarian and the Unitarian.” His chief undertaking, laid out in his Biographia Literaria, was to show “that the Scheme of Christianity, as taught in the Liturgy and Homilies of our Church, though not discoverable by human Reason, is yet in accordance with it.” This, he asserted, “has been my object…. With this my personal as well as my LITERARY LIFE” (capitals in the original).

This course will examine Coleridge’s poetry from the point of view of his philosophical and theological prose, to better understand how he believed works of the imagination could help “the eye of Reason” when “it has reached its own Horizon” to “preserve the Soul steady and collected in its pure Act of inward adoration to the great I AM.”

Dr. Anthony Cirilla teaches writing and literature courses at College of the Ozarks. He is also associate editor of Carmina Philosophiae, the journal of the International Boethius Society. Originally from Western New York (the Buffalo/Niagara region), he is happy to be back in Missouri. His wife, Camarie, writes poetry and fairy tales. They attend St. Joseph Anglican Church in Branson.

Online only, runs 8 weeks, meeting 2.5 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion on the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.

This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.