• The “Ilfracombe” journals, “Ex Oriente Lux,” and “A Minor Prophet” register the ways
    in which George Eliot’s nineteenth-century nonfiction prose and poetry evidence
    ecotheological concerns that are proto-environmental, concerns that are also
    reflected in some of her novels. Employing an ecocritical methodology, this article
    traces the development of Eliot’s ecological literacy, beginning with her scientific
    field observations that incubated what would become her lifelong literary aesthetic
    of moral sympathy put forth in “The Natural History of German Life.” Eliot’s initial
    moral sympathy advanced to an ecotheological perspective made visible in both
    Eliot’s unpublished lyric poem “Ex Oriente Lux” and her canonic verse “A Minor
    Prophet.” Eliot’s early and mature writings countervailed the competing discourses of
    theology and science as they relate to the natural environment.