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moral criticism

A tendency—rather than a recognized school—within literary criticism to judge literary works according to moral rather than formal principles. Moral criticism is not necessarily censorious ...

moral criticism

moral criticism   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

... criticism A tendency—rather than a recognized school—within literary criticism to judge literary works according to moral rather than formal principles. Moral criticism is not necessarily censorious or ‘moralizing’ in its approach, although it can be; nor does it necessarily imply a Christian perspective, although it often does. Moral critics include D. H. Lawrence , whose position was pagan, and extolled the virtue of ‘life’ as a force to be nourished through literature; T. S Eliot , who was Christian, and judged works in terms of their ability to...

moral criticism

moral criticism  

A tendency—rather than a recognized school—within literary criticism to judge literary works according to moral rather than formal principles. Moral criticism is not necessarily censorious or ...
The Need for Civilizational Dialogue

The Need for Civilizational Dialogue   Reference library

Ibrahim Anwar

Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
1,961 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...but also for the excesses and autocratic tendencies of the ruling elites. The fear of competition has been transposed into an impending clash on a civilizational scale. On the other hand, Asian spokesmen, in their eagerness to fend off criti-cism, often indulge in stereotyping the West. The West is nothing more than a moral wasteland. Crime, depravity and licentiousness are the order of the day. It is a lost society of aimless wandering souls. It is against this background that we must engage ourselves in civilizational dialogue, for we fear that protracted mutual...

Taleqani's Last Sermon

Taleqani's Last Sermon   Reference library

Mahmud Taleqani

Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
1,387 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...their burdens”: he removes the heavy burdens which lay upon the shoulders of humanity, and opens the bridges that had been closed to the people's mind and thought, to the people's living and life. This goal was the basis for the moral of “enjoining righteousness and forbidding wickedness,” the moral of banning the Kharijites [an early sect of Islam], removing burdens and yokes. What does “burden” mean? It means . . . those impositions of mind and thought and belief which the world of paganism and unbelief had imposed upon the minds and...

Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure   Reference library

Sonia Massai and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,564 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Measure for Measure has always had a mixed critical reception: its moral complexity irritated Johnson but pleased Hazlitt ; the personal shortcomings of its characters alienated Coleridge but moved Ulrici . Twentieth-century critics have replicated this split by reading this comedy as either a problem play (as did Tillyard and Schanzer ) or as a Christian allegory of mercy and forgiveness (as did Wilson Knight 1930 , Roy Battenhouse, and Neville Coghill). Recent criticism is similarly divided in its assessment of this play in relation to the...

Epilogue

Epilogue   Reference library

John Rogerson

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
6,761 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...criticism, and to that extent I hope that it has enabled me to do the work better. Historical criticism has benefited, then, from its encounter with newer methods. But these newer methods need to benefit from historical criticism, especially a historical criticism informed by sociology and anthropology. I have argued that Giddens's sociological approach to texts makes it possible to challenge certain deconstructionist strategies. But challenges also need to be made to feminist and liberation approaches to the Bible. A commonplace of feminist criticism is...

Novels

Novels   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
6,137 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...and more broadly questioning, though equally sharp. Austen's adroit handling of so many central, even stereotypical qualities of the novel can make her elusive, and modern criticism characteristically desires to decode her language, to uncover the political resonances which refuse to rise to the level of explicit debate. These are overwhelmingly questions of social order and of the moral and emotional lives of women. Technically, Austen develops the novel subtly but significantly. Her use of free indirect discourse (the source of the closeness readers feel to...

Prose

Prose   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,185 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...as generally educated discourse—a spacious universe of written genres ranging from *natural philosophy [34] , *historiography , moral philosophy, political philosophy, and *political economy [33] to poetry, drama, and criticism—the Monthly and Critical reviews attempted to be encyclopedic in their display of recent or emerging knowledges. Hence they employed scholars in linguistics, mathematics, *chemistry , classics, moral philosophy, and other disciplines to inspect ‘all’ books in both established and emerging intellectual fields. Such reviewers...

A Criticism of Religious Thought

A Criticism of Religious Thought   Reference library

Sadiq Al-‘azm

Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
3,598 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

... A Criticism of Religious Thought The descendent of a prominent Syrian political family and graduate of American University of Beirut, he holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University. His Marxist criticism of religious thought published in 1970 caused a scandal. He was brought to trial in Beirut in the same year on charges of provoking religious troubles but was acquitted. The first edition of the work from which this selection comes, was published in 1969. In this excerpt, ‘Azm attacks the misuse of Islam by “reactionaries” and urges a scientific critique...

Sonnets

Sonnets   Reference library

Michael Dobson

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,480 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

... (Arden 3rd series 1998); Stephen Booth (Berkeley, 1977) Some representative criticism Booth, Stephen , An Essay on Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1969) Edmondson, Paul , and Wells, Stanley , Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2004) Empson, William , in Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930) Fineman, Joel , Shakespeare’s Perjured Eye (1986) Jakobson, Roman , and Jones, Lawrence , Shakespeare’s Verbal Art in th’Expence of Spirit (1970) Krieger, Murray , A Window to Criticism: Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Modern Poetics (1964) Mahood, M. M. , Shakespeare’s Wordplay...

Law

Law   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,210 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of medieval and early modern criminal law were subjected to increasing public criticism under the influence of Enlightenment thinkers such as the Italian legal theorist Cesare Beccaria ( 1738–94 ), who rejected disproportionate and uncertain punishment and excessive use of capital punishment. His concerns chimed with the extensive growth of sentiment in polite society, which entailed a concern for rehabilitating the morally ‘fallen’ [ see *sensibility, 11 ]. This public criticism also drew crucial support from more practical concerns about the doubtful...

Enlightenment

Enlightenment   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
7,794 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...activities in the Scottish Enlightenment were informed by a general interest in the science of humanity, which was in large measure a result of the empirical trend of Scottish moral philosophy. Developing Locke's ideas, Hutcheson and Hume had emphasized the role of sense experience in the formation of moral knowledge. They had also persuasively attacked the belief that moral judgement rested upon rational deduction, so emphasizing the need to observe humans in their social setting in order to understand behaviour. This gave a ‘historical’ and...

History

History   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,067 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...possibility of moral exemplification across period boundaries. The warm reception accorded William *Godwin 's arguments about the effects of political institutions on the shaping of character and action, for example, suggests a growing public appreciation—no doubt abetted by events and debates in America and France—of the power of historically specific circumstances to shape human subjectivity. With the strong sense of the epochal constitution of human personality in place, history can no longer be said to teach by providing examples to moral philosophy....

Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens   Reference library

Michael Dobson, Will Sharpe, and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,245 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...ranting vents Shakespeare’s own ‘scream of suffering’ (developed in Shakespeare the Man , 1909 ) was even echoed by E. K. Chambers , who decided that Shakespeare must have suffered a nervous breakdown while drafting the play and never completed it thereafter. More recent criticism has returned to the play’s relations to the other works within the canon, whether the problem comedies, the romances (towards which Timon’s sea-poetry seems to reach), or Coriolanus (whose hero’s military campaign against his own city is prefigured by that of Alcibiades, while...

Sensibility

Sensibility   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
7,039 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the civilizing process. The historian Paul Langford sees a similar relationship between philanthropy and entrepreneurship. *Evangelical reformers , too, linked moral with material improvement. Much of the suffering addressed by the humanitarian reformers of the later eighteenth century could be laid at the door of that masculine world against which the culture defined itself and which moral reformers wished to enter and to change. The wide range of ‘obvious and pointless physical suffering’ they protested came to include the cruel treatment of animals;...

As You Like It

As You Like It   Reference library

Michael Dobson and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
3,253 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Senior’s celebration of the moral lessons of Nature a statement of Shakespeare’s own imputed views on the wisdom to be found outside a corrupted urban society, and finding the play’s preference for reflection over action equally sympathetic: Schlegel , influentially, saw the play as a manifesto for the view that ‘nothing is wanted to call forth the poetry which has its dwelling in nature and the human mind but to throw off all artificial constraint, and restore both to their native liberty’ ( 1811 ). Nineteenth-century criticism in general concentrated on the...

The Necessity of Renewing Islamic Thought and Reinvigorating Religious Understanding

The Necessity of Renewing Islamic Thought and Reinvigorating Religious Understanding   Reference library

Nurcholish Madjid

Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
7,874 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...its concrete meaning, that is, desacralization of everything other than that which truly possesses divine attributes, in other words, the world. The object of the process of desacralization is everything pertaining to the world, both moral and material. Values are included among moral worldly objects, while matter constitutes the material objects. Now, if one hears the statement that “Islam is Bolshevism plus God” (Muhammad Iqbal [1877–1938]), one of its meanings is that the outlook of Islam regarding the world and its problems is the...

The Early Church

The Early Church   Reference library

Henning Graf Reventlow

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
5,415 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
6

...7: 3–11 gives close parallels to every detail of the passion history; often a catchword (the red colour of the cloak, Mark 15: 17 ; the wood of the cross) is the connecting link. Cultic regulations in the Old Testament are explained spiritually (10: 2f.). The prophetic cult criticism is adopted and intensified. Instead, the author admonishes his readers to inquire as to the ethical demands of the Lord (2: 1). This intention stands in the background of the main part of the treatise (2–17), culminating in the motive of the two ways (18–20; cf. Didache 1–5)....

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra   Reference library

Michael Dobson and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
3,330 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
1

...saddens us,’ 1909 ), but over the following century it was this very avoidance of heroic, operatic emotion, and the play’s apparent preference for language over character, which endeared it to modern criticism, and its highly patterned poetry lent it perfectly to the studies in Shakespeare’s imagery pioneered by Caroline Spurgeon . In later 20th-century criticism the play has been of particular importance to feminist critics interested in Shakespeare’s representations of sexual difference, and to postcolonial commentators more concerned with its images of...

Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida   Reference library

Michael Dobson and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
3,065 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
1

...classically dressed BBC TV production ( 1981 ). Anthony Davies Recent major editions Recent major editions Kenneth Muir (Oxford, 1984); Kenneth Palmer (Arden 2nd series, 1982); David Bevington (Arden 3rd series, 1998) Some representative criticism Bayley, John , ‘Time and the Trojans’, Essays in Criticism , 25 (1975) Dollimore, Jonathan , in Radical Tragedy (1984) Ellis-Fermor, Una , in The Frontiers of Drama (1945) Knight, G. Wilson , in The Wheel of Fire (1949) McAlindon, T. , ‘Language, Style and Meaning in Troilus and Cressida ’, P...

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