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Coleridge, Philosophy and Religion: Aids to Reflection and the Mirror of the Spirit [Hardcover]

Douglas Hedley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 24, 2000 0521770351 978-0521770354
Coleridge's relation to his German contemporaries constitutes the toughest problem in assessing his standing as a thinker. For the last half-century this relationship has been described, ultimately, as parasitic. As a result, Coleridge's contribution to religious thought has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic genius. This book revives and deepens the evaluation of Coleridge as a philosophical theologian in his own right. Coleridge had a critical and creative relation to, and kinship with, German Idealism. Moreover, the principal impulse behind his engagement with that philosophy is traced to the more immediate context of English Unitarian-Trinitarian controversy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book re-establishes Coleridge as a philosopher of religion and as a vital source for contemporary theological reflection.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This engaging discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's mature philosophical theology is driven by the author's interest in the continentious issue of Coleridge's relation to German philosophy." Religious Studies Review Oct 2001

"This work is a significant contribution to Coleridge studies, particularly in light of Hedley's ability to relate both British and German philosophical traditions to Coleridge's mature theology...Hedley has written an intelligent and farreaching work." The Journal of Religion

Book Description

Coleridge's relation to his German contemporaries constitutes the toughest problem in assessing his standing as a thinker. For the last half-century this relationship has been described, ultimately, as parasitic. As a result, Coleridge's contribution to religious thought has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic genius. This book revives and deepens the evaluation of Coleridge as a philosophical theologian in his own right.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521770351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521770354
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,543,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rarely does an academic title earn the sobriquet "page-turner," but this excellent study by Douglas Hedley really does capture the reader's attention to the last page. I found this book hard to put down and was always eager to return to it. My unwavering interest was largely maintained by Hedley's compact or dense writing style. He packs a lot of information into a few sentences, much of it quite interesting, ranging from classical references to German Idealism. Admittedly, if you read a sentence too quickly, or only glance at a modifying phrase, you might not fully comprehend the next three pages, but in requiring you to marshal your attention to his many references and fine explications, Hedley's writing yields much benefit and makes you eager for more. And despite the heavy reading, the material is always insightful and germane to his subject never devolving into the verbose or pedantic. Hedley is a very good writer in full control of his topic.

Coleridge is often unfairly regarded as one of the lesser lights of the Lake District poets and known largely for his poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the unfinished masterpiece "Kubla Khan," and a life long opium addiciton that either ruined or enhanced his career, depending on your perspective of drug use for enahncing creativity. He was also very intelligent producing many critical reviews and philosophical tracts. Hedley's study is concerned with Coleridge's writings on philosophy and theology, and he makes it clear that the haze of opium did not negatively impact Coleridge's keen and insightful intellect on theological issues. In fact by the end of the book, I thought Coleridge was a better philosopher than he was a poet.

Coleridge saw no need to make a firm distinction between philosophy and theology.
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