The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #68: Romanticism

General Introduction
– Welcome back, Professor Grubbs!
– Welcome back, respectability!
– How did Nathan blog so much?

What Is Romanticism?
– Not the sentimental relationship
– Not the genre
– Not the global mindset
– The Romantic movement and the Enlightenment
– Searching for a starting date
– The problem with Romantic innovation
– Particular over universal
– Post-Enlightenment, not anti-Enlightenment

Political Revolutions
– American and French Revolutions and the Enlightenment
– Tempering the Enlightenment
– Where the French Revolution went wrong
– The Cult of Reason
– The Cult of the Supreme Being
– The Reign of Terror
– Napoleon’s Takeover

The Grimms
– Fairytale as new genre
– The rise of national consciousness
– Folklore
– From particular to universal
– The invention of childhood

– The one-sided Emerson
– The individual! The individual! The individual!
– Trust thyself
– Impulses from the devil
– And how is your Oversoul today?
– Consistency and contradiction
– Nietzsche and Emerson

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
– The individualistic epic
– Byron as Jackson Browne
– Byron’s satisfied unhappiness
– Model for the New Evangelicalism

Romantic Literary Criticism
– The rise of the English department
– Art as personal expression
– How the Romantics ruined Shakespeare
– The mirror and the lamp

The Good and Bad of the Romantic Legacy
– Individual experience
– Learning about emotion
– The apologetics of desire
– Originality and authenticity in religion
– Church traditions as folklore and baseball teams
– Subjectivity
– Existentialism Is a Romanticism
– The Christian Imagination
– Turning to the small town
– Nationalism



Abrams, M.H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. New York: Oxford UP, 1971.

Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Blake, William. Blake’s Poetry and Designs. New York: Norton, 2007.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Essays and Lectures. New York: Library of America, 1984.

Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Trans. Jack Zipes. New York: Bantam, 2000.

Kalevala, The. Trans. Keith Bosley. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. New York: Oxford UP, 2000.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays. New York: Library of America, 1984.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Other Writings. New York: Modern Library, 2000.

Whitman, Walt. Poetry and Prose. New York: Library of America, 1996.

Wordsworth, William, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads. New York: Penguin, 2007.

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