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The Later Prose and Notebooks

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Abstract

Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit is Coleridge’s principal attack upon Bibliolatry, that unthinking reverence for the Bible which offends the rights of reason and rejects interpretation by means of an external frame of reference. His devotion to Scripture arises from an appeal to the whole experience of man, the Bible received inasmuch as it finds him ‘at greater depths’ of his being, bringing with it ‘an irresistible evidence of its having proceeded from the Holy Spirit’.1 Revelation must be authenticated in man’s human essence. ‘Make a man feel the want of it; rouse him, if you can, to the self-knowledge of his need of it.’2 The first part of this chapter will examine how, in the task of reflection and self- discovery, man necessarily employs his faculties of reason and will in responding to divine initiative. The authentication of revelation, therefore, is the assent in a new and objective form to that to which he is already subjectively related.3

Keywords

Opus Maximum Great Work Marginal Note Christian Doctrine Polar Logic 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    See Huw Parry Owen, ‘The Theology of Coleridge’, Critical Quarterly, 4 (1962) 59–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 5.
    M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism (New York, 1971) pp. 65–71.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See David Pym, The Religious Thought of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Gerrards Cross, 1978) p. 70;Google Scholar
  4. Geoffrey Rowell, Hell and the Victorians (Oxford, 1974) pp. 69–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 9.
    F. J. A. Hort, ‘Coleridge’, Cambridge Essays (London, 1856) p. 328.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    The texts used for these works by Kant and Fichte will be the translations by T. M. Greene and H. H. Hudson, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (New York, 1960), and by Garrett Green (of the second edition of 1793), Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation (Cambridge, 1978), respectively; cited henceforth as Religion and Attempt.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    See Helen Gardner, Religion and Literature (London, 1971) p. 134.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    CN, III 4005. See also Aurel Kolnai, ‘The Thematic Primacy of Moral Evil’, Philosophical Quarterly, VI (1956) 27–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 18.
    See Friend(CC), I, pp. 154–61: The essay on ‘Reason and Understanding’, ‘the leading thought of which’, wrote Coleridge, ‘I remember to have read in the works of a continental Philosopher’ (p. 154). He refers to Jacobi, David Hume … oder Idealismus und Realismus: Werke, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1815) pp. 8–17; Von den Göttlichen DingenGoogle Scholar
  10. Beilage A: Werke, vol. 3 (1816) pp. 429–35. See also F. J. A. Hort, op. cit., pp. 321–4.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    Henri Nidecker, ‘Notes Marginales de S. T. Coleridge’, Revue de Littérature Comparée, 7 (1927) 142. The copy of the 1794 edition, annotated by Coleridge, is in the British Library.Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    T. A. Rixner, Handbuch der Geschichten der Philosophie (1823), trans. and quoted by Lovejoy, op. cit., p. 55.Google Scholar
  13. 27.
    See Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864; London, 1959) p. 169.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    See John Coulson, Religion and Imagination:‘in aid of a grammar of assent’ (Oxford, 1981) p. 60.Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    Newman, Historical Sketches (London, 1872) vol. 3, pp. 41–2.Google Scholar
  16. 39.
    Notebook 26 (c. 1817–18) ff. 14–17. See further James D. Boulger, Coleridge as Religious Thinker (New Haven, Conn., 1961) pp. 154–7.Google Scholar
  17. 40.
    See G. N. G. Orsini, Coleridge and German Idealism (Carbondale, 1969) pp. 57–8.Google Scholar
  18. 44.
    James Beattie, Essays on the Nature and Immutability of Truth – in Opposition to Sophism and Scepticism (Edinburgh, 1776) p. 89. On Beattie, see also above, Ch. 5, p. 81.Google Scholar
  19. 55.
    CL, IV, pp. 791–2. On Kant, see further H. J. Paton, In Defence of Reason (London, 1951) pp. 157–77;Google Scholar
  20. P. F. Strawson, Freedom and Resentment (London, 1974) pp. 178–88.Google Scholar
  21. 56.
    See David Newsome, Two Classes of Men: Platonism and English Romantic Thought (London, 1974) p. 101;Google Scholar
  22. Owen Barfield, What Coleridge Thought (Middletown, Conn., 1971) Appendix: ‘Polar Logic’, pp. 179–93. Also, see above, Ch. 3.Google Scholar
  23. 57.
    Logic, pp. 241–2; 17 Cent., p. 89. See also J. H. Muirhead, Coleridge as Philosopher (London, 1930) pp. 84–5.Google Scholar
  24. 60.
    Marginalia on Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (1785); see Nidecker, op. cit., 337.Google Scholar
  25. 62.
    Emil L. Fackenheim, ‘Kant and Radical Evil’, University of Toronto Quarterly, 23 (1954) pp. 350–1.Google Scholar
  26. 65.
    See letter to J. C. Lavater, 28 Apr 1775: ‘God must have hidden some supplement to our deficiencies somewhere in the depth of His decrees’ (Arnulf Zweig (ed. and trans.), Kant’s Philosophical Correspondence, 1759–99 (Chicago, 1967) p. 80). See also Religion, pp. 179–90;Google Scholar
  27. D. M. MacKinnon, ‘Kant’s Philosophy of Religion’, Philosophy, 50 (1975) 135–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 67.
    See Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, trans. T. K. Abbott, 6th edn (London, 1909) p. 151.Google Scholar
  29. 68.
    See A. O. Lovejoy, ‘Coleridge and Kant’s Two Worlds’, Essays in the History of Ideas (Baltimore, Md., 1948) p. 272.Google Scholar
  30. 71.
    Elinor Shaffer, ‘Metaphysics of Culture: Kant and Coleridge’s Aids to Reflection’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 31 (1970) 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 72.
    See Mary Midgley, ‘The Objection to Systematic Humbug’, Philosophy, 53 (1978) 147–69, esp. 151 Midgley criticizes the assumption often attributed to Kant, that our feelings do not concern morality.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. See also, Mary Midgley, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (London, 1980) pp. 258–61.Google Scholar
  33. 77.
    Shaffer, op. cit., 212. See also Luther, The Bondage of the Will (1525), trans. J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston (London, 1957) p. 270: ‘And I do not accept or tolerate that middle way [mediocritatem] which Erasmus … recommends to me, namely to allow a very little to free will, so that the contradictions of Scripture … may be more easily removed.’Google Scholar
  34. 101.
    See: Alice D. Snyder, Coleridge on Logic and Learning (New Haven, Conn., 1929); Boulger, op. cit., pp. 121–4;Google Scholar
  35. T. McFarland, Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin (Princeton, NJ, 1981) pp. 342–81.Google Scholar
  36. 119.
    Stephen Prickett, Coleridge and Wordsworth: The Poetry of Growth (Cambridge, 1970) p. 181.Google Scholar
  37. 120.
    Church and State, p. 4. See also Basil Willey, Nineteenth-Century Studies: Coleridge to Matthew Arnold (Harmondsworth, 1969) p. 53.Google Scholar
  38. 121.
    Thomas McFarland, Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (Oxford, 1969) p. 191.Google Scholar
  39. 125.
    D. G. James, The Life of Reason: Hobbes, Locke, Bolingbroke (London, 1949) p. 270.Google Scholar
  40. 126.
    Stephen Happel, ‘Words Made Beautiful by Grace: on Coleridge the Theologian’, Religious Studies Review, 6 (1980) 206.Google Scholar
  41. 127.
    Laurence S. Lockridge, Coleridge the Moralist (Ithaca, NY, 1977) pp. 25, 258–9. The concluding phrase Lockridge quotes from the Opus Maximum MS in the Victorian University Library, Toronto. OM, B3, ff. 166–71.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Jasper 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hatfield CollegeDurhamUK

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