Anamnesis in the sacramental vision of George Herbert

Brian Douglas, Jane Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The article examines the use of remembrance as anamnesis in the poetry of the Anglican priest and poet, George Herbert (1593-1633). Herbert remains influential as a poet and spiritual writer in both Anglicanism and the wider Christian tradition. Herbert’s use of anamnesis is intimately linked with his sacramental vision and this is explored with reference to both baptism and the eucharist. Herbert seeks in his poetry to know the presence of God through remembrance where he seeks to encounter a dynamic sacramental remembrance of Christ’s work for humanity through the dialectic of presence and absence. It is through this dynamic remembrance that Herbert experiences intimacy with God in a sacramental vision. The article examines anamnesis in the Scriptures and in the Anglican and wider Christian tradition before an extended treatment of Herbert’s poetry and the sacramental vision it evokes. Significant influences on Herbert and his sacramental vision are discussed before concluding that Herbert presents a developed moderate realist view of sacramentality where anamnesis works to embrace the Holy. Herbert’s poetry is seen as powerful both in his and the present day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-220
Number of pages23
JournalQuestions Liturgiques
Volume99
Issue number4
Early online date2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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