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Larkin’s “Church Going” carefully balances agnostic dissent with an insistence on saving the spirit of tradition which reflects secular Anglicanism

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.7, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 134-136

Keywords : Anglicanism; Church Going; Larkin; secular; post world-war England;

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Post-world war II England saw a gradual decline in attendance in the churches which reflects a slowdown in overall religious belief of the masses. They rather seemed to be interested in church buildings as they provided them an opportunity to find meaning of their lives and keep their spirit of tradition alive however they were indifferent towards religion as a governing body. Larkin's “Church Going” (1954), which is his most celebrated religious poem perfectly delineates the mood of the time and portrays the relationship between religion and the then society. The narrator, who is an atheist, describes himself as an “Anglican agnostic” which indicates he is Larkin himself. He attempts to combine agnostic dissent with an effort of preserving tradition. This is a reflection of the ideology of secular Anglicanism wherein the importance of Church remains but that of God seems diminishing. This paper aims to explore these themes and understand Larkin's perspective of religion in the twentieth century English society

Last modified: 2022-12-14 18:55:21