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Auden and Christianity$
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Arthur Kirsch

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108149

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108149.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Early Years

Early Years

(p.1) Chapter One Early Years
Auden and Christianity

Arthur Kirsch

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on what Auden referred to as a “rather shy-making” autobiographical essay about his Christian faith written in 1956. Auden observed that “the Christian doctrine of a personal God implies that the relation of every human being to Him is unique and historical, so that any individual who discusses the Faith is compelled to begin with autobiography.” He pointed out that both of his grandfathers and four of his uncles were Anglican priests, and that the atmosphere of his home “was, I should say, unusually devout, though not in the least repressive or gloomy. My parents were Anglo-Catholics, so that my first religious memories are of exciting magical rites (at six I was a boat-boy) rather than of listening to sermons.”

Keywords:   autobiographical essay, Christian faith, personal God, Anglican priests, Anglo-Catholics, magical rites, sermons

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