Romanticism

Authored by: Daniel N. Robinson

The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782173
eBook ISBN: 9780203387856
Adobe ISBN: 9781136677922

10.4324/9780203387856.ch30

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Abstract

Searching for the principal wellspring of so broad and spirited a development as that which is dubbed Romanticism is finally doomed, for Romanticism itself – with its appreciation for the organic over the mechanical, for life over dead matter, for the transcendent over the merely observable – is not a movement that ever stood still for long, nor was it ever absent from human strivings as expressed in art and literature. The dating of such a movement or perspective must be arbitrary but surely early. The Homeric epics have all of the essential features of the romantic; heroic deeds on a vast and mythical canvas, including major and minor divinities, miraculous events, strange creatures of the imagination, and all these combined in a narrative that would elevate the listener above the plane of plain experience. So, too, does the philosophy of Plato reach beyond the sensible toward ideals that can be imagined, if not attained, and allow a deathless soul whose liberation from the body creates opportunities for a new and different life, a resumed journey. Indeed, wherever Romanticism and Theism appear with clarity and interdependence, the echo of Platonism is audible.

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