RELIGION OF WOMAN
ROBERT M. ADAMS
"... a naming of topics on which I would gladly speak and gladlier hear."
Emerson to Carlyle
17 September, 1836
It is, I think, with a sense of lowered horizons and murky atmosphere that anyone who served his apprenticeship to the Caroline divines and the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology enters on the religious life of the nineteenth century. Lucid and orderly thinking, not to speak of deft controversy, presupposes at least a limited field of preliminary agreement. The further back one has to start in defining and disputing first premises, the less chance there is of getting anywhere in particular; and in the end, no great play is possible between a man with a rapier and a man with a cudgel or pistol. In the earlier age, no man played the game of theology, and few tried to judge it, who did not accept the broad rules of the game and have some appreciation of its fine points. But as the duel gave way to a kind of battle-royal, with everyone brandishing a different homemade weapon, and a loose-lipped public opinion as the arbiter, not much could be expected in the shape of intellectual clarity or distinction. Keble and Newman stood out among
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Publication information: Book title: Art, Politics, and Will:Essays in Honor of Lionel Trilling. Contributors: Quentin Anderson - Editor, Stephen Donadio - Editor, Steven Marcus - Editor. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1977. Page number: 173.
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