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Religion in the Romantic Era

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Melinda Gilbert

on 18 April 2011

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Transcript of Religion in the Romantic Era

Religion in the Romantic Era Introduction Religion is one of the things which distinguishes man from the other animals. Apes and dolphins, as far as we know, have no religions, but no group of human beings has ever been discovered which did not have religious beliefs. Religion is so old that its origins are shrouded in the darkness of prehistoric times, when our early ancestors trod the earth, and it has exerted so immense an influence on human behaviour ever since that there is no hope of understanding history and human nature without taking religion into account. Religons have taught men and women how to lead their lives on the earth and have given them hope for a happier life after death. They have supported human beings in times of danger, pain, bewilderment and despair. They have inspired nobility, self-sacrifice, courage and endurance, and they have also inspired wars, persecutions and abominable cruelty. They have created compelling and magnificent rituals and a massive wealth of literature, architecture, art, music and philosophy. Religion reflected in Art and Literature What did the majority of people in Europe believe? Religion has always played a significant role in the world of art, but in the romantic era artists seemed to almost forget about religion. Some still used angels and Christ in their work. The history of the Church of England from the 18th century onwards has been enriched by the co-existence within it of three broad traditions, the Evangelical, the Catholic and the Liberal.

Eugene Delarcroix was an artist in the romantic era and he incorporated many figures from the Bible in his drawings and paintings.
Caspar David Friedrich was also famous for his paintings of religious mysticism and has some work that was centered on the fall of pre-christian religion. •The Evangelical tradition has emphasized the significance of the Protestant aspects of the Church of England's identity, stressing the importance of the authority of Scripture, preaching, justification by faith and personal conversion.
Many poets and writers included some form of higher power such as angels, prophets and God in thier pieces. Religion was a part of their work throught symbolism and metaphors. In the poem Ode: Intimations of Immorality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth, it talks about how we see things as a child than we do as adults, and it includes refrences to God. "But trailing clouds of glory so we come from God, who is our home."
Also, in the poem The Last of the Flock by William Wordsworth, it shows how man blames God for tragedy. "Alas! It was an evil time; God cursed me in my sore distress." •The Liberal tradition has emphasized the importance of the use of reason in theological exploration. It has stressed the need to develop Christian belief and practice in order to respond creatively to wider advances in human knowledge and understanding and the importance of social and political action in forwarding God's kingdom.


It is quite widely believed today that all religions are fundamentally the same, that behind their surface differences, adapted to the circumstances of different peoples and historical periods, they all bring essentially the same message. This must be more of a pious hope than anything else, for although similar teachings do occur in more than one religion, fundamental differences of belief, attitude and behaviour are so marked that it is extremely hard to pin down exactly what religion is.
•The Catholic tradition has emphasized the significance of the continuity between the Church of England and the Church of the Early and Medieval periods.

How religion first began is extremely difficult to pin down, and also there may be no simple answer. Because religion is so old and so widespread, it is sometimes suggested that a religious impulse is embedded in human nature, that human beings are naturally religious. The trouble with this theory is that, if you look around you, a good many people plainly have no such impulse and are temperamentally irreligious. A different approach finds the source of religion not in man but in God, who has revealed himself to man, but this usually applies to the true religion (one’s own religion), not to religion in general.
What is Religion? The origin of Religion Influence/ power that the church had over people
The official religious church of the Romantic Period was the Church of England, even though most people did not have contact with them in the time. The people in the church were, for the most part, there only for their own gain. Most of the people that were not in touch with the church were the big cities, many of which had uneducated citizens whom worked at the factories. For the time period it was big that the romantic writers thought that the Church of England was old and not to their liking. Most of the other ways they would express the spirituality that they wanted was by writing and having their ideas of it written down. The Unitarians were a small group that did not believe Jesus as divine. This had a major effect on the writers as they listened and believed in that group. A big part of the writings in this time were about spirituality and what most people believed in increased the influence on their writings in that time period.
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