Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith - Spiritual Lives (Hardback)
  • Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith - Spiritual Lives (Hardback)
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Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith - Spiritual Lives (Hardback)

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£42.99
Hardback 230 Pages
Published: 21/06/2018

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Christina Rossetti (1830-94) is regarded as one of the greatest Christian poets to write in English. While Rossetti has firmly secured her place in the canon, her religious poetry was for a long time either overlooked or considered evidence of a melancholic disposition burdened by faith. Recent scholarship has redressed reductive readings of Christian theology as repressive by rethinking it as a form of compassionate politics. This shift has enabled new readings of Rossetti's work, not simply as a body of significant nineteenth-century devotional literature, but also as a marker of religion's relevance to modern concerns through its reflections on science and materialism, as well as spirituality and mysticism.

Emma Mason offers a compelling study of Christina Rossetti, arguing that her poetry, diaries, letters, and devotional commentaries are engaged with both contemporary theological debate and an emergent ecological agenda. In chapters on the Catholic Revival, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, contemporary debates on plant and animal being, and the relationship between grace and apocalypse, Mason reads Rossetti's theology as an argument for spiritual materialism and ecological transformation. She ultimately suggests that Rossetti's life and work captures the experience of faith as one of loving intimacy with the minutiae of creation, a divine body in which all things, material and immaterial, human and nonhuman, divine and embodied, are interconnected.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198723691
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 360 g
Dimensions: 202 x 136 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The brilliance of this book rests in no small measure on Mason's accomplishment as literary critic, biographer and theologian. Her analysis, in chapter 1, of the influence of the Cappadocians and of key Anglo-Catholic thinkers on Rossetti is an object lesson in patient, sympathetic analysis. Equally, Mason's reminder that Rossetti was – despite popular views – no quiet and lonely poet will surprise some readers. I hope that readers will be energised by Mason's challenge to re-engage with the theological and environmental radicalism of Rossetti and wider Victorian Christian culture. - Rachel Mann, Manchester Metropolitan University, Modern Believing

Every so often a book falls into your hands that speaks immediately and energet-ically to your own imaginative concerns....As I contemplate the environmental crisis - or catastrophe, as we are told we have only 12 years left to get our act together - faced by the world today, Mason's portrayal of Rossetti's faith and poetry offers theological and prayerful resources to inspire contemplation of God's faithful grace, enough to transcend any apocalypse. This is a work of theological hope that is profound enough to fathom the depths of anxiety today. - Frankie Ward, Workington, Theology

Mason's attention to Rossetti's fascination with "multiplicity" generates some provocative new readings of her work, not least "Goblin Market." Readers interested in Rossetti, Victorian religion, and contemporary eco-theology more generally will find it stimulating. - Miriam Elizabeth Burstein, College at Brockport, State University of New York, Religion and the Arts

Emma Mason's Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith offers a groundbreaking and graceful account of Christina Rossetti's ecological spirituality. ...Mason is the first to identify Rossetti's ecological view of faith as foundational to her faith, politics, and poetics. - Joshua King, Baylor University, Victorian Studies

"[a] most compelling study" - David Marx Book Reviews

I would recommend this book to anyone currently writing on Rossetti or thinking about doing so. - Diane D'Amico, Review 19

Tracing a "green grace" through Rossetti's life and work - a kinship with all beings, held in divine Love - her book is well-timed and compelling. - Lynne Wycherley, Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

[A] reasoned, convinced and convincing work, that shows Christina Rossetti to be far more than we have been led to believe... Mason does a fine job of putting a real importance behind the work of Christina Rossetti, a poet truly ahead of her time. - John F. Deane, The Irish Catholic

[...] to honour the work of Emma Mason in this book, a reasoned, convinced, and convincing work that shows Christina Rossetti to be far more than we have been led to believe... Mason does a fine job of putting a real importance behind the work of Christina Rossetti, a poet truly ahead of her time. - John F Deane, The Irish Catholic

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