• Maurice and religion – from 1912 to 2012

    Krzysztof Fordonski (see profile)
    Edward Morgan Forster, LGBTQ Studies
    English literature, Gay culture in literature, Gay and lesbian studies, Queer theory, Sex--Religious aspects
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    E. M. Forster’s Maurice
    Conf. Org.:
    University of St Andrews
    Conf. Loc.:
    St Andrews, Scotland
    Conf. Date:
    e.m. forster, Gay and Lesbian, Gay and lesbian literature, LGBTQ Studies, Religion and sexuality
    Permanent URL:
    The present paper aims at a presentation of the issue of religion in 'Maurice' – both in the text of the novel and in its readings. Religion is one of the main forces which influence the social and personal life presented in E. M. Forster’s 'Maurice'. Its place is quite naturally second to the influence of the law, and yet it is religious upbringing and a vision of morality rooted in religious teaching that largely shape the way its characters perceive themselves and their own behaviour, guide them in their choices. The first part of the paper will concentrate on the text itself – offering a close reading of those parts of the text where religion/religions plays a part, stressing their importance in the structure of the novel. The aim is to retrace the influence of religion (predominantly Christianity but also ancient Greek religion) on the main characters’ psychological development and behaviour. The issue will be discussed in the context of Forster’s personal attitude towards organised religion. The second part will concentrate on various readings of the issue – on the one hand seeking critics’ reactions. On the other hand, however, in attempt to reconstruct the attitudes of modern readers coming from various religious background to the novel in the context of the attitudes of modern religions. At least in part the papers attempts to answer the following question: to what extent has 'Maurice' dated in this particular respect and to what extent it remains a contemporary work for many of its 21st century homosexual readers describing dilemmas which they face in their lives.
    Last Updated:
    7 years ago
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