English literature, 19th century, History, criticism, Religion in literature
Typical of the schismatic nature of its time, Victorian literature holds all four fundamental religious positions mankind can take: liberalism, fundamentalism, humanism, and existentialism. Robert Browning's work serves as an example of optimistic and affirmative liberalism. Christina Rossetti represents the pessimism toward life and the ultimately hope for the next life of fundamentalism. Mathew Arnold's work illustrates the opposite, humanist point of view, which displays optimism for the present but has no belief in an afterlife. Finally, James Thompson displays the negativity of existentialist thought, seeing little hope in the present and future.
Clark, Bruce B.
"The Spectrum of Faith in Victorian Literature,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 4
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol4/iss3/2