Between the Temple and the Cave: The Religious Dimensions of by Angela T. McAuliffe

By Angela T. McAuliffe

Drawing on a large choice of newly to be had resource fabric, Angela McAuliffe examines the roots of Pratt's non secular attitudes, together with his strict Methodist upbringing in Newfoundland and his plans to go into the ministry. She explores Pratt's early prose and unpublished poetry, together with his theses on demonology and Pauline eschatology and the unpublished poem "Clay," to track the origins of spiritual principles and motifs that take place in his later paintings. McAuliffe makes a speciality of key motifs in Pratt's poetry, equivalent to his picture of a far off and ambitious God, his apocalyptic imaginative and prescient of the area, and his trust in determinism and destiny. She concludes that the variety of spiritual positions attributed to Pratt and clone of God that emerges from his poetry are features of the ironic imaginative and prescient of a guy of twentieth-century sensibility who wrestled with God and sought a medium of expression equivalent to his themes.

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83 While this methodology was not without its limitations, it constituted a move away from fundamentalism and provided a solid foundation from which to explore the higher criticism. When Pratt read Strauss's The Life of Jesus (1835-6; translated 1848), he was well prepared, and read it in the 17 "Up from Newfoundland" light of the seventy-five years of scholarship that had followed its first publication. Two dramatic cases that occurred close to the turn of the century serve as indicators of the progress of theology at Victoria College.

Having discussed the characteristics of the apocalyptic form, which will be considered in greater detail in relation to his poetry (see chapter 3, below), and having illustrated the way in which it differs from the works of the prophetic age, Pratt traces the growth of Paul's Christocentric eschatology, and his gradual shift of emphasis from the traditional accompaniments of the apocalypse (196) to the all-important return of Christ (192). Once he has drawn up a conjectural outline of Paul's life, and a chronological order of the epistles according to theological authorities such as Weiss, Sabatier, Harnack and Turner (24), Pratt turns to a consideration of Paul's general use of the terms "spirit" (psyche], "soul" (pneuma], "flesh" (sarx), and "body" (somd) in the light of the teaching of the Old Testament (29).

It must be remembered that the apostle, versed as he was in the prophetic development of his age, and in rabbinical argumentation, quotes from the Old Testament in the language of the Septuagint, and this brings to the formulation of his religious thought a mode of expression unknown to those who shaped Hebrew theology (112-113). Pratt states that Paul's methods are not those of a theorist who wished to construct a view of the universe that might satisfy a logical test, but those of a missionary who brought a practical ingenuity to bear upon the multifarious moral and social needs that grew in proportion to the expansion of the churches, and that often demanded immediate adjustments.

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