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Hawthorne and a Framework of Faith

Excerpt from Margaret Moore's The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne (courtesy of the University of Missouri Press)

Margaret Moore makes in clear that while Hawthorne was steeped in religious thinking, he never ascribed to any single sect nor did he spurn religion altogether. He remained a man of faith, but of some indeterminate faith. .

However he conducted his life or voiced his beliefs subsequently, Hawthorne gained in this family and in the church a knowledge of the Bible that later was to permeate his work. He also received an intimate knowledge of conflicting opinions about religion. Later he observed in his notebook, 'The conversation of the steeples of a city, when the bells are ringing on Sunday-Calvinist, Episcopalian, Unitarian etc.' (CE 8:242). Though he stopped listening to sermons as soon as he could dictate his own actions, he 'never quite passed beyond the limits of a Christian imagination,' as Michael Colacurcio says. And that imagination was nurtured in the Salem of his boyhood (110).

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10257/

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