Title

Joanna Baillie's religious ideology: The Dichotomy of Fundamentalism and Liberalism in The Martyr and A View of the General Tenour of the New Testament Regarding the Nature and Dignity of Jesus Christ

Document Type

Review

Publication Date

7-1-2006

Description

Scottish playwright Joanna Baillie grew up as the daughter of a Church of Scotland minister, but after moving to London in her twenties, she embraced Unitarianism like many other writers and thinkers of the early Romantic period. After publishing four volumes of plays, several metrical legends and dozens of poems, in her later years Baillie turned her attention to religious theory. Her 1826 drama The Martyr, later included in Dramas (1836), reveals her fundamental Christian ideology. But her 1831 pamphlet titled A View of the General Tenour of the New Testament Regarding the Nature and Dignity of Jesus Christ broaches one of the most controversial theological arguments of the period - the validity of the Trinity. This essay considers why a financially secure, religious Scot, with a certain intellectual reputation, would turn her attention to Christian fundamentalism and then reveal such a liberal position in a frontal attack on Anglican doctrine.

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