Indecisive Reflections: Body, Soul, and Pauline Theology
As seen in the previous chapter, while having great respect for Greek philosophy and many aspects of contemporary science, Coleridge still privileged religious doctrine when seeking answers to questions on Life and Mind, Body and Soul. In no small part, this situation arose from a desire to defend religion—and the humans that developed it—from overly-scientific, -philosophical, and -historical explanations of the nature of Being. Coleridge’s attempt to resolve his questions through the guidance of religion in these matters was, however, extremely complex, not least because he tended simultaneously to accept and reject the Judaic aspect of Judeo-Christian religion. This tendency is revealed through his simultaneous emphasis and de-emphasis of Judaism’s status as a religion in its own right, and through the fact that he both upholds and dismisses the idea that the Old Testament is a set of typological predictions about the New Covenant. It seems, indeed, that Coleridge considered Judaic traditions as things to be retained or cast off for the purpose of fulfilling the Christian message. It is certain, though, that when combined with his powerful respect for Greek philosophy, this attitude towards Judaism left Coleridge dangling in a veritable limbo when attempting to evaluate anthropological traditions and assess the relationship between Body and Soul.