You are here

Sacramental Vision

Title: The Sacramental Vision: Mythopoeic Imagination and Ecology in Coleridge, MacDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien.
Name(s): Brawley, Christopher S., author
Burkes, Shannon, professor directing dissertation
Walker, Eric, outside committee member
Laughlin, Karen, committee member
Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The purpose of the present project is to isolate and define a prominent characteristic of mythopoeic fantasy, the attempt to reawaken the numinous consciousness, which in the hands of Coleridge, MacDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien serves to provide a revisioning of the human relationship with the natural world. The project will counter two kinds of argument, one by literary critics who view this type of literature as "escapist," bearing no relationship to the world, and one by environmental critics who believe Christianity causes hostility towards "right" relations with the earth. By analyzing specific texts by these authors, who are heavily influenced by Christianity, the project will show that mythopoeic fantasy, if successful, offers the reader a unique religious response to the environment. The element of the numinous consciousness within the works of the four authors will be discussed specifically in relation to the influential book by Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy. However, in analyzing the common denominator of the numinous consciousness in these mythopoeic works, the present study will further note differences among the authors in their presentation of this religious mode of experience. Chapters two and three will focus on the "inner" quest for the numinous, which involves a transcendence or annihilation of the self in order for a revisioning of the world. Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and George MacDonald's Phantastes will be analyzed in terms of this transcendence of the self which helps to facilitate the experience of the numinous. Chapters four and five will deal with the numinous as it exists on a more epic scale, as that which is "outer." In Lewis's The Last Battle and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the emphasis will be placed on the transcendence not of the individual self but of the entire world. Although a distinction will be made between the "inner" and "outer" manifestations of the numinous, all four authors employ fantasy as a subversive form of art which allows readers to revise their perceptions of the natural world.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3071 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Program in the Humanities in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: October 22, 2003.
Keywords: Tolkien, Lewis, Macdonald, Coleridge, Numinous, Ecocriticism, Ecology, Mythopoeia, Fantasy
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Shannon Burkes, Professor Directing Dissertation; Eric Walker, Outside Committee Member; Karen Laughlin, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Arts
English literature
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Brawley, C. S. (2003). The Sacramental Vision: Mythopoeic Imagination and Ecology in Coleridge, MacDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien. Retrieved from