Once primarily associated with crises of faith and a broader religious decline, Victorian Britain is now increasingly identified with religious vitality and diversification. This course highlights how creative writers ranging from poets to novelists sought to challenge, reform, and convey religious authority in a rapidly changing world. Focusing on major works by George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker and Rudyard Kipling, we will see how the popular literature of the day was both infused with religious discourse and, in some cases, dedicated to the reinterpretation of inherited sacred traditions. Here the question mark in the course's title invokes recent scholars and critics who have called into doubt an older historical narrative that collapsed modernization and secularization. A majority of the class will focus on varieties of Christianity, but we will also explore religious difference on a wider global scale toward the end of the century. Satisfies the Nineteenth Century requirement.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; EL NC; AR HUM