Research

My research is focused on eighteenth and nineteenth-century religious poetry, but I am broadly interested in how religion is figured and experienced in verse. I’m also also interested in the interrelationship between religion and ecology and its potential illumination by non-human (plant and animal) forms of consciousness.

My new book, Christina Rossetti: Poetry, Ecology, Faith, suggests that Rossetti ‘greens’ grace in her poetry to articulate a thinking of ecology through religion. I’m also working on a new edition of William Barnes’ Dialect Poems in the Dorset County Chronicle: William Barnes (Edinburgh University Press) with Tom Burton; and a co-written book with Mark Knight for Bloomsbury, Weird Faith in Nineteenth-Century Literature: Theologies at Work.

My next project, provisionally titled Thinking uncertainty in nineteenth-century poetry, explores Gianni Vattimo’s premise, ‘weak thinking’, to defend a kenotic approach to religion that allows for an impartial openness to anagogic texts. The book traces a lineage of weak thinking from Romanticism through nineteenth-century Anglo-Catholic poetry and into modern legatees of these movements, such as Elizabeth Jennings, David Jones, and Peter Larkin.

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