Dr. Joshua King, "Christina Rossetti's Green Sanctuaries and Cosmic Liturgies"
From Elizabeth Parker
Watch Dr. Joshua King's October 23rd presentation to the 19th Century Research Seminar on "Christina Rossetti's Green Sanctuaries and Cosmic Liturgies."
About the Presentation
“Ecological conversions” now being pursued by many Christian communities in response to environmental crises are still often perceived as new-fangled repairs to previously (or inherently) otherworldly religious traditions. Partly for this reason, the now robust scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and the environment has said next to nothing about the ways a number of nineteenth-century British poets, Christina Rossetti among them, affirmed the community and participation of all creatures in the body of Christ. As this talk argues, Rossetti’s poetry and prose portray all of creation as a worshipping community indwelled by God, a conviction encouraged by her worship in “green sanctuaries,” churches that incorporated or imitated nonhumans in their rites. For Rossetti, creation is itself a cosmic liturgy moving through deep time and space, in which creatures in their countless varieties and interdependencies praise God and participate in the redemptive work of Christ.
About Dr. Joshua King
Joshua King is Associate Professor of English at Baylor University and current holder of the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies at the Armstrong Browning Library. He is author of Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print (Ohio State 2015) and coeditor, with Winter Jade Werner, of Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue (Ohio State, May 2019). He has published numerous articles and book chapters on poetics, religion, print culture, and, more recently, ecotheological and environmental perspectives in the works of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keble, John Henry Newman, Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and many others. His current book project, The Body of Christ, the Body of the Earth: Poetry, Ecology, and Christology, shows how nineteenth-century British poets developed ecological visions by affirming the community and participation of other creatures in Christ and the body of Christ.