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Roszak's Pagan Gospel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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The ideal preparation for Theodore Roszak's new book is to read again Wordsworth's sonnet “The World Is Too Much With Us.” After lamenting the “getting and spending” that lays waste our spiritual powers, the poet declares he prefers to be a pagan “suckled in a creed outworn,” sustained in a universe still mythic and sacral. Wordsworth, like Roszak in Where the Wasteland Ends: Politics and Transcendence in Postindustrial Society (Doubleday; 492 pp.; $10.00), complains about the spiritual depletion resulting from the scientization of culture and the disenchantment of the world. Since Wordsworth, says Roszak, the situation has simply gotten worse, so that Blake's “May God us keep/ From Single vision and Newton's sleep” sounds more than ever like a desperate prayer.

Research Article
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1972

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