Emily Dickinson’s poetry has long been of interest to theologians due to her fascination with faith, doubt, death, and immortality. In this essay, Jaime Wright draws attention to the recent shift in Dickinsonian scholarship towards an examination of the scientific elements of her poetry and the interface between science and theology in her work. In noting this, however, Wright argues that ‘the pertinent intersection is epistemology’. The relation of science and theology is then explored utilising one of Dickinson’s favoured metaphors: that of circumference. By use of this metaphor, Dickinson expresses an understanding of the limits of scientific and theological knowledge. Wright then explores further the paradigm of epistemic limits or circumference in Dickinson’s poetry by means of its varying spatial points: that which is within a circumference (life, humanity, nature), at a circumference (death, dying), and beyond a circumference (God, immortality, eternity). The essay concludes with an affirmation of the continuing persistence of Dickinson’s faith in her life and in her work.
Wright, J. (2017). Emily Dickinson: a poet at the limits. Theology in Scotland, 24(1), 35-50.
Copyright (c) 2017 Jaime Wright. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence.