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Coleridge, Christology, and the Language of Redemption

Jeffrey W. Barbeau

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The Anglican poet and philosophical theologian Samuel Taylor Coleridge privately wrote notebooks that develop vital aspects of his mature public theology, especially his understanding of the doctrine of redemption. While Aids to Reflection (1825) is Coleridge’s central public explanation of the doctrine of redemption, the late notebooks reveal the careful exegetical work that grounds his theological system. Through a close analysis of Paul and John, Coleridge questions traditional theological assumptions about the meaning of redemption. Coleridge’s analysis of theological language, sacramental imagery, and the role of symbols allows him to distinguish between the work of Christ and the consequences of its effects in individual Christians. Coleridge’s mature theology influenced the mid-nineteenth-century Broad Church Movement as well as a variety of North American theologies.

 
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