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Durham e-Theses
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Faith and reason in Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Dahl, E. J. (1957) Faith and reason in Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The essential features of the theology of S.T. Coleridge are discussed on the basis of both his published and unpublished work. The development of his thought after the publication of the Aids to Reflection is taken into account. A comprehensive investigation of Coleridge's distinction between the Reason and the Understanding, upon which his theology was based, shows that this distinction, as well as his division of Reason into practical and theoretic Reason, was not Kantian, but' -was the Platonic distinction between that which pertains to the sense and that which pertains to the super sensible, between an intuitive and discursive manner of attaining knowledge. An attempt is made to explain why Coleridge had such a high regard for Kant that he borrowed much of his terminology, but yet deserted the whole spirit of his thought, and never considered himself a follower of the critical philosophy. Throughout his life Coleridge remained an "evangelical "mystic". The religious thought of Coleridge is discussed in the light of his growth from Unitarianism and pantheism to orthodox Christianity; he returned to the Church of England because of strictly religious considerations. Luther was Coleridge's greatest hero and authority, and Coleridge considered that he had taken up his mantle as reformer and theologian. He would complete Luther's thought. To the conceptual language of Luther's motif of justification by faith, Coleridge added the dynamic language of "being-in-Christ", thus forming a synthesis between imputed and imparted righteousness. Coleridge was certain that Luther never meant the idea of justification to he merely notional or forensic, and never for a minute doubted that he walked in the spirit of his master. Because of his insistence that all revelation was immediate, Coleridge had a difficult time finding the right niche in his theology for history. His relationship with Edward Irving, which led to a sort of crisis in his ideas on history and Biblical interpretation, is discussed together with these topics.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1957
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 16:04

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