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Literary Criticism German

The Holy Fool

Christian Faith and Theology in J.M.R. Lenz

by (author) Timothy F. Pope

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2003
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    Nov 2003
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Previous studies have viewed Lenz's religion as a largely pathological phenomenon that was linked to the temporary lapses into insanity that he experienced after he was banished, at Goethe's insistence, from the court and city of Weimar. Pope reveals, however, that a dynamic shift in Lenz's faith had occurred four years before the debacle of Weimar. Coherent statements during those four years concerning the articles of his new faith, and a consistent application of faith to questions of poetry and dramatic theory, indicate that Lenz's contribution to the literary revolution of the 1770s was conditioned as much by a personal religious renewal as by enthusiasm for the aims and ideals of his generation. Theologically, Lenz's new convictions followed a path that led away from the neology of the late Enlightenment and pointed not only back to conservative traditions but also forward to the Christology of more modern times.

About the author

University of Lethbridge

Timothy F. Pope's profile page