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Religion in James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and J.G. Lockhart's Adam Blair

Assignment id 1007515
Discipline Arts Entertainment
Assignment type Essay
Words 2276
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Religion in James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and J.G. Lockhart's Adam Blair "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the regulation of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1-2). Given the highly charged religious surroundings of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Scotland, the aforementioned passage must have been discussed several times in Christian circles then. A number of the Reformed loyal, possibly, took the first part too seriously, to the expense of any ordinary sense of morality, while some may have forgotten their freedom from condemnation and dropped into despair. In any event, both viewpoints pervert the orthodox Calvinistic perspective of guilt laid out from the teachings of the philosophy's namesake and the normal confessions of the church in the time. While they might not make very great theology, those dogmas at least supplied material for two nineteenth-century character studies, James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and J.G. Lockhart's Adam Blair. Written when much (although not all) of post-Enlightenment Scotland had taken an anti-clerical, anti-religious position, these novels explore the religion of the preceding generation and how fundamentalist Presbyterianism might have gone horribly wrong. Even the protagonists of every book respond in totally opposite ways to their sinful functions; Lockhart's eponymous character includes a nearly legalistic perspective of their own sin, even although Hogg's Robert Wringhim follows a much more antinomian route. Oddly enough, it is the former that ends up redeemed and the other damned, however their individual journeys toward those endings follow much of the same path. Robert Wringhim, Hogg's cen...

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