A more beautiful question : the spiritual in poetry and art / Glenn Hughes
- Hughes, Glenn, 1951-
- Additional Titles:
- Spiritual in poetry and art
- Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- xiii, 168 pages ; 25 cm
- Childhood, transcendence, and art -- Spiritual functions of art -- Elemental meaning and Gerard Manley Hopkins -- Emily Dickinson and the unknown God -- A pattern of timeless moments : T. S. Eliot's Four quartets -- Art and spiritual growth.
- Annotation As more and more people in North America and Europe have distanced themselves from mainstream religious traditions over the past centuries, a crisis of faith has emerged and garnered much attention. But Glenn Hughes, author ofA More Beautiful Question: The Spiritual in Poetry and Art, contends that despite the withering popularity of faith-based worldviews, our times do not evince a decline in spirituality. One need only consider the search for alternative religious symbolisms, as well as the growth of groups espousing fundamentalist religious viewpoints, to recognize that spiritual concerns remain a vibrant part of life in Western culture. Hughes offers the idea that the modern crisis of faith is not a matter of vanishing spiritual concerns and energy but rather of their disorientation, even as they remain pervasive forces in human affairs. And because art is the most effective medium for spiritually evocation, it is our most significant touchstone for examining this spiritual disorientation, just as it remains a primary source of inspiration for spiritual experience.A More Beautiful Questionis concerned with how art, and especially poetry, functions as a vehicle of spiritual expression in todays modern cultures. The book considers the meeting points of art, poetry, religion, and philosophy, in part through examining the treatments of consciousness, transcendence, and art in the writings of twentieth-century philosophers Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan. A major portion ofA More Beautiful Questionis devoted to detailed case studies of three influential modern poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and T. S. Eliot. In these and its other chapters, the book examines the human need for artistic symbols that evoke the mystery of transcendence, the ways in which poetry and art illuminate the spiritual meanings of freedom, and the benefits of an individuals loving study of great literature and art.A More Beautiful Questionhas a distinctive aimto clarify the spiritual functions of art and poetry in relation to contemporary confusion about transcendent realityand it meets that goal in a manner accessible by the layperson as well as the scholar. By examining how the best art and poetry address our need for spiritual orientation, this book makes a valuable contribution to the philosophies of art, literature, and religion, and brings deserved attention to the significance of the spiritual in the study of these disciplines.
- Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 1844-1889—Criticism and interpretation
- Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886—Criticism and interpretation
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965—Criticism and interpretation
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. Four quartets
- Spirituality in art
- Spirituality in literature
- Poetry—Religious aspects
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 147-155) and index.
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