This Literature/Philosophy course is taught by Dr. Anthony Cirilla, and will run from April 12 through June 18. The syllabus is available here.
Today Coleridge is mostly known as a writer of the sensitive conversation poems and the fantastic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” but the greater part of his writing was philosophical and theological in nature. We see the influence of Coleridge’s Christian Romanticism for example, in C.S. Lewis when he uses the term in Pilgrim’s Regress and in his defense of objective beauty in The Abolition of Man. From the Church of England to Socinian heresy and back to orthodox Anglicanism, Coleridge’s intellectual journey in the Biographia Literaria shows a mind voracious for deep philosophical reflection married to profound poetic experience, wedded together in the mysteries of Christianity itself.
Composing his great work with the hopes 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,” Coleridge sought to stave off not only empiricist and rationalist objections to the faith with Romantic belief in the imagination, but to defend orthodoxy that such Romanticism might apparently threaten. In an effort to understand Coleridge’s project of Christian Romanticism, we will read his poetic, philosophical, and theological works with attention to the core argument running through all of his writing: that the Imagination is an indispensable resource for seeking God’s truth, not to supplant but to more fully submit to what Coleridge termed “the whole truth in Christ.”
Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hrs./wk. via videoconference + online discussion board. 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. Note: all classes are offered dependent on demand and require a minimum of four participating students. This is a graduate-level seminar. Although a Bachelor’s degree is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.