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Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief (Library of Religious Biography Series) [Paperback]

By Roger Lundin (Author)
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Item description for Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief (Library of Religious Biography Series) by Roger Lundin...

Garnishing awards from "Choice," "Christianity Today," "Books & Culture," and the Conference on Christianity and Literature when first published in 1998, Roger Lundin's "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief" has been widely recognized as one of the finest biographies of the great American poet Emily Dickinson. Paying special attention to her experience of faith, Lundin skillfully relates Dickinson's life as it can be charted through her poems and letters to nineteenth-century American political, social, religious, and intellectual history. This second edition of Lundin's superb work includes a standard bibliography, expanded notes, and a more extensive discussion of Dickinson's poetry than the first edition contained. Besides examining Dickinson's singular life and work in greater depth, Lundin has also keyed all poem citations to the recently updated standard edition of Dickinson's poetry. Already outstanding, Lundin's biography of Emily Dickinson is now even better than before.

Publishers Description
Named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice when it was published in 1998, Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief has since been widely recognized as one of the finest biographies of the great American poet. This superb work by Roger Lundin is now available in a revised edition that, in addition to incorporating text updates, aligns all citations of Dickinson's poems with the newly established standard edition of Dickinson's writing. Lundin looks chronologically at Dickinson's life, paying special attention to her experience of faith. He skillfully relates her personal development -- as it can be charted through her poems and letters -- to nineteenth-century American political, social, religious, and intellectual history. editor), Nathan O. Hatch (series editor), Allen C. Guelzo (series editor) The Library of Religious Biography is a series of original biographies on important religious figures throughout American and British history. The authors are well-known historians, each a recognized authority in the period of religious history in which his or her subject lived and worked. Grounded in solid research of both published and archival sources, these volumes link the lives of their subjects -- not always thought of as religious persons -- to the broader cultural contexts and religious issues that surrounded them. Each volume includes a bibliographical essay and an index to serve the needs of students, teachers, and researchers. books in this series are well-written narratives meant to be read and enjoyed as well as studied. Titles in this Series: Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister Blaise Pascal: Reasons of the Heart Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief Occupy until I Come: A. T. Pierson and the Evangelization of the World The Puritan as Yankee: A Life of Horace Bushnell Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson Thomas Merton and the Monastic Vision William Ewart Gladstone: Faith and Politics in Victorian Britain

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 3, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Edition  Revised  
Series  Library of Religious Biography  
ISBN  0802821278  
ISBN13  9780802821270  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Roger Lundin

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Roger Lundin (Ph.D., University of Connecticut) is Blanchard Professor of English, Wheaton College. He is the author of a number of books, including: "There Before Us: Religion, Literature, and Culture From Emerson to Wendell Berry," Editor (2007), "From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority" (2005), and " Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief," 2nd ed. (2004).

Roger Lundin currently resides in the state of Illinois.

Roger Lundin has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Cultural Exegesis
  2. Library of Religious Biography
  3. Signet Classics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief (Library of Religious Biography Series)?

Expands the Emily enigma more than it explains...  Jul 22, 2006
I have been obsessed with the life of Dickinson for more than 20 years, and I had high hopes that this author would fill in some gaps that the other 15 or 20 E.D. books had not. In that wish, I was unfulfilled, although the author gives it a great try. I did learn more than I knew before about the "general" protestant currents in Emily's New England between 1830-1880, but the Queen Recluse emerges from Lundlin's examination of her apparent beefs with, and beliefs about, Christianity as still "a puzzlement." For other E.D. compulsives, I think this is a must-own, but for casual poetry fans, it probably is not an essential addition to their shelf. For any serious Emily explorer, Richard Sewell's massive 1974 "Life of Emily Dickinson" remains the Mount Everest that must be scaled, and the most satisfying look at her life, poetry and prose.
Unwrapping a Bit of the Enigma  Oct 17, 2005
This book is a rarity: a work of biography and literary criticism that isn't a chore to plow through. Roger Lundin's style, unlike that of most academics who pursue the great classics of literature, is lucid and uncomplicated. There isn't, as I recall, a tortured sentence in the entire book.

Besides this not-to-be-discounted virtue, there are other important ones as well. Since the book is guided by Lundin's thesis, which has to do with issues of faith as they are expressed in Dickinson's work, the focus is tight, producing a similarly focused narrative. No time is wasted on speculations about Dickinson's sex life, for example, though the readily verifiable is certainly reviewed in the pages of the book. About Dickinson's relationship with the man she came close to marrying, Otis P. Lord, we'd probably like to hear more. But again, the record is incomplete because much of the correspondence between the principals was destroyed, and Lundin doesn't overstep, sticking to what can be proved.

This is not strictly a critical biography, so those poems tjat Lundin examines are considered only briefly--just closely enough to explain their relationship to his thesis. Lundin chooses judiciously, as he does among the letters and personal accounts centering on Dickinson. Besides, he relates Dickinson's thinking on matters of faith to spiritual and intellectual trends in 19th-century America, and this is among the most important features of the work, especially since he cites a number of noted authorities on the place of religion in American history. If you have any interest in such issues, Lundin's citations will probably send you on a further quest.

Only rarely did I say to myself, "I'd like to hear more about that topic." Lundin develops his thesis with skill and with great sympathy for his subject. He certainly doesn't explain the enigma that is Emily Dickinson, but he moves us closer to an understanding of this frustratingly, fascinatingly complex artist.
A penetrating look at Emily Dickinson's spiritual formation  Dec 28, 1998
As a lay person, knowing more of Roger Lundin's academic reputation than of Emily Dickinson's life and work, I was intimidated by the prospect of reading his biography of the poet, "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief." However, as the foreword assures us, this book is not meant for the "cognoscenti" alone, but for us "uninitiated outsiders" as well. And as the departing shore of the book's introduction became faint, I found only the calm seas and smooth sailing of a real page turner. I was soon fascinated by Dickinson's enigmatic life as Lundin carefully unfolded the practical details of her life in nineteenth century Amherst, as well as her development as a poet, an intellectual, and a religious thinker in an era on the edge of modernity. One of the most poignant themes in the book was Dickinson's progressive reclusiveness--and for all the reasons Lundin gives for it, I wasn't completely satisfied until the very last chapter. A surprising dimension of the book is the discussion of Emily's political, cultural, and religious milieu--which we eventually come to learn is key to understanding Dickinson's discomfiting questions and world view. The only fault I find in the book is not at Lundin's hand, but Emily herself. Though she leaves us in awe of her literary genius and spiritual sensitivity, her seemingly selfish reclusiveness and her failure to ever clearly declare the state of her soul left me feeling sorry for her. Although I have been taught never to judge in these matters, as a Christian I can't help but wonder, "was she or wasn't she?" Did she ever make the leap of faith? Lundin never gives us a definitive "yes" or "no," but yet gives enough data that we can make our own educated determination. I only hope that when I have "forded the mystery" and turn the corner of Heaven, I will find Emily at the feet of Jesus, having set aside her pondering pen, happy and content to finally be a bride. "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief" gives me that much hope

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