The ‘Modernism and Christianity’ project studies the continuing impact of Christian thought, texts, imagery and religious traditions upon modernist writers (as well as other cultural and also political figures) whose principal work and intellectual formation occurred approximately between 1880 and 1945. The project seeks to argue that, far from simply emerging from the aftermath of some unidirectional process of ‘secularization’ or ‘disenchantment’, early and high modernist culture saw an intensified concern with faith and spiritual matters, alongside a sharpening sense of religious crisis that was often felt to encompass the direction of Western civilization as such. This of course led to an extremely wide variety of responses, and the project seeks to trace: 1) the continuing appeal of aspects of Christian thought and tradition for some modernists (including modernist conversions), 2) the shaping tensions between the diverse ‘world-views’ emerging from this sense of crisis on the one hand, and Christianity in its many guises on the other, and 3) the specific appropriations (whether appreciative or hostile) of Christian thought, texts, imagery and tradition into modernist writing (as well as other cultural practices). Methodologically, the project emphasises historical specificity and especially archival research.
The ‘Modernism and Christianity’ project is jointly funded by the Bergen Research Foundation and the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen.