Byron and the post-secular: quia impossibile
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Over the last few decades, several prominent strands of criticism have encouraged us to assume that Romantic intimations of transcendence are illusions, escapist fantasies or forms of mystification. This article argues against such practices of exclusive immanence and recommends in their place a more hospitable ‘post-secular’ approach, which favours a non-dogmatic ‘posture of perhaps’. The relevance of this alternative approach is illustrated with reference to the work of Byron, which is, I suggest, sceptical about and yet open to the possibility of religious transcendence. What’s more, the article brings to light two divergent forms of openness to the religious in Byron’s verse: a more reflective posture of hospitality to the paradoxical possibility of the impossible—founded on the poet’s radical scepticism—and a more affective mode of openness, which discloses or disposes the poet towards that which exceeds the material.
Hopps , G R 2015 , ' Byron and the post-secular: quia impossibile ' The Byron Journal , vol. 43 , no. 2 , pp. 91-108 . DOI: 10.3828/bj.2015.15
The Byron Journal
Copyright 2015 The Byron Journal. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.3828/bj.2015.15
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