Abstract and Keywords
This article uses the concept of ‘canon’ to investigate the relationship between Victorian religion and an emerging literary culture that positioned itself as both a development and an outgrowth of it. It argues that the nature of this positioning meant that many Victorian writers became caught between the difficult tangibility of religion, and the difficult intangibility of the literary culture that claimed to move beyond it. It looks at two interrelated aspects of ideas about canon in relation to Victorian culture in the work of Matthew Arnold in particular: (1) a textual canon embodied in sacred text, and (2) a canon located within the parameters of personality, usually of a divine founder. The chapter concludes by challenging the assumption that the end of the period closes the door on the continued relevance of Victorian non-fictional prose writing on religion.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.