Modern Believing

The ‘Pierless’ Faith of Emily Dickinson

Modern Believing (2018), 59, (4), 303–318.


Abstract: Within Christian traditions, the philosophical tends to drown out the potentiality of the poetic as a mode of thinking theologically. This article examines Emily Dickinson’s approach to defining ‘faith’, in part because the resulting agnosticism is quite fascinating, and in part to make space for the possibility of expanding the margins of the liberal theological tradition. By incorporating the everyday and the unknown into her poems, and by emphasising the unknowable instead of the definite, Dickinson provides her readers with an experience of faith that remains simultaneously within – and a challenge to – other forms of Christian liberal theology.

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Author details

Boscaljon, Daniel