Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jeffrey Powers-Beck

Committee Members

Frederick O. Waage, Isabel B. Stanley, Robert Sawyer


Theological dualism is a primary element in George Herbert's poetry. Poems such as "The Flower," "Affliction I," "Affliction V," "The Banquet" and "Love III" illustrate the necessary tension inherent in the polarity of theological dualism. Abstractions such as joy, grief, pleasure, pain, birth, and death form the framework for Herbert's illustration of the Christian pilgrim in search of divine communion. For the searching Christian to understand one abstract principle, its opposite must be equally explored. In this journey to comprehend the duality of the Christian life, one reaches spiritual enlightenment and communion with God. Although several critics have recognized the importance of theological dualism in Herbert's works, none have closely examined its significance in the poems' overall meaning. Not only does Herbert incorporate theological dualism into his poetry, but he also provides a sense of closure for the journeying Christian who seeks to understand the creator's mysterious ways.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.