The "Isms"

The “Isms”: T.S. Eliot's beliefs

T.S. Eliot originally believed in a single God and followed Unitarianism for the early part of his life. But he changed to Anglicanism in June 29, 1927, at the age of 39.

Eliot became a British citizen in November of 1927. He became a life member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr. Eliot became the warden on his parish church, Saint Stephen’s, Gloucester Road, London. Eliot considered himself an Anglo-Catholic.

He even proclaimed himself as, "classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and Anglo-catholic [sic] in religion."

T.S. Eliot has even been accused of being an Anti-Semitic, for his depictions of Jews in his work. Anthony Julius's T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form of 1996, puts forth the strongest case that Eliot was being Anti Semitic.

Several of his works have been accused of showing prejudice towards Jews. “Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar”, “Gerontion”, “In A Cooking Egg”, “Sweeney Among the Nightingales” are some of the poems that seem to tell that Eliot was Anti Semitic, but there were a lot of Jews in the production of these works and they all deny to think of the works to be Anti Semitic.

Emanuel Litvinoff

Emanuel Litvinoff was an Anglo-Jewish writer, who was one of the first to openly protest against Eliot, in an inaugural poetry reading attended by Eliot himself, much to the shock of the gathered men.

Professor Ronald Schuchard of Emory University, published in 2003, the details of a previously unknown cache of letters from T.S. Eliot to Horace Kallen, which revealed that Eliot was not Anti- Semitic and in fact supported Jews in many ways. He had helped Jewish refugees move from Germany and Austria to re-settle in America and Britain and he even expressed his support for Israel.

Leonard Woolfe

A Jewish friend of Eliot, Leonard Woolf, said that Eliot was slightly Anti-Semitic and that he was no more that unusual than a common man. The debate whether T.S. Eliot was Anti Semitic and if he was prejudiced towards the Jews, still rages on and only future discoveries of Eliot’s life would reveal the truth of his views.

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