Coleridge’s Anxiety

  • Thomas McFarland


Much of Coleridge’s existence was a death in life. His deep commitment to the Christian religion was sustained, on the one hand, by the need to feel that there must be something better than the torment in which he so mysteriously found himself, and, on the other, by the sense of his inability to cope with his manifold failings:

I profess a deep conviction [he wrote] that Man was and is a fallen Creature, not by accidents of bodily constitution, or any other cause, which human Wisdom in a course of ages might be supposed capable of removing; but diseased in his Will.… (AR 136)

Certainly this view, central to Christian faith, corresponded exactly to the facts of life as he himself experienced them. His intellect, noted Southey in 1815, was ‘as clear and as powerful as ever was vouchsafed to man’, but ‘he labours under a disease of the volition’.1


Christian Faith Psychoanalytic Theory Christian Religion Green Radiance Cherry Juice 
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Copyright information

© John Beer 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas McFarland

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