February 8th

Dr. Joshua King  (English, Baylor) will present“Tennyson’s ‘Christian Year’: The Minimum of Faith & National Spiritual Community.” This talk will share the results of his research leave in fall 2012 to work on his book, Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print. The book shows how Nineteenth-Century creative authors, journalists, educators, and clergy treated the circulating printed page as a medium for imagining and partaking in competing versions of a Christian community spanning Britain. The talk focuses on the seventh chapter, which argues that Tennyson’s elegy In Memoriam quietly relied on recognized public religious and cultural forms to portray faith as a matter of the private soul. The poem thereby became a quasi-sacred work of national scripture, used by some to encourage a nationalistic and aggressive  sense of sacred British community. JoshuaKing-S2013