‘On Rationalism’: ‘The Authoritative Word’ and ‘Liberty of Conscience’

  • Robin Schofield


This chapter examines Sara Coleridge’s first extended religious essay, ‘On Rationalism’ (1843), and places the work in its historical context, in order to emphasize the boldness of her intervention in the public sphere. The chapter analyses Sara Coleridge’s innovative critical methodology, and the vitality of her language in delivering a radical critique of the theology of John Henry Newman and his fellow Tractarians. Schofield examines how Sara Coleridge’s religious critique is inflected by considerations of gender, and discusses her strategies in overcoming the restricting conventions of women’s authorship. The chapter discusses the liberalism and inclusivity of Sara Coleridge’s theology, which underlies her developing commitment to dialogic methods, and her Miltonic commitment to freedom of conscience.


Bibliography of Works by Sara Coleridge

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Schofield
    • 1
  1. 1.OxfordUK

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