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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores conceptions of the sacramental in modern European thought and considers early modern attempts to use the notion to ground a sense of divine presence in the world. Sometimes the terminology is explicit and sometimes not, and sometimes it is even borrowed for non-theistic purposes, but throughout, what links all such usages is the view that material reality can point beyond itself to some kind of transcendent reality. The discussions cover Platonism and the Romantic movement; John Ruskin and the Symbolist movement; and disenchantment and responses from secular and sacred.

Keywords: Christianity, material reality, transcendent reality, Platonism, Romantic movement, John Ruskin, Symbolist movement

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