Deepening thrust of the sword: On the religious satire of Jonathan Swift

Wang Ai-yan
May 2008
US-China Foreign Language;May2008, Vol. 6 Issue 5, p76
Academic Journal
Through close reading of Jonathan Swift's religious works and his novel, this essay traces his deepening critical attitudes towards religion. From A tale of a tub, to "An arguments against abolishing Christianity", to Gulliver's travels, the targets of his ridicule become larger and larger, and the sword of his satire goes deeper and deeper, from Roman Catholic and Puritans, to the declining Christianity, and to all religions in general, which reflects his uncompromising stance as an Enlightener.


Related Articles

  • Mustard seeds. Buchanan, John M. // Christian Century;3/18/2015, Vol. 132 Issue 6, p1 

    The author reflects on the maxim of essayist Jonathan Swift on having just enough religion to make people hate, but not enough to make them love one another. Topics cited include the religion-inspired violence that has been in the daily news, the author's lecture at the Knippa...

  • `The livery of religion': Reconciling Swift's Argument and Project. Smith, Lisa Herb // English Language Notes;Dec93, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p27 

    Discusses Jonathan Swift's essays `An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity' and `Project for the Advancement of Religion and Reformation of Manners' with their focus on Christianity and the values of the society. Christian hypocrisy; Power and influence of the Church; Reader's perception of...

  • USING LITERATURE TO NEUTRALIZE PERNICIOUS DICHOTOMOUS THINKING. Maas, David F. // ETC: A Review of General Semantics;Spring2003, Vol. 60 Issue 1, p76 

    Focuses on the Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason, the literary genre known as the comedy of manners attempted to combat such pernicious either-or ways of thinking. Emphasis of Moliere's comedies; Goals of Enlightenment writers; Negative reaction of the Roman Catholic to Moliere's play...

  • Problems and Paratexts in Eighteenth-Century Collections of Swift. Karian, Stephen // Studies in the Literary Imagination;Spring99, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p59 

    Analyzes the book `Abolishing Christianity and Other Short Pieces,' by Jonathan Swift. Example of post-modern appropriation of Swift; Description of Swift's writings; Why Swift serves as a paradigm case for paratextual study.

  • On the Words Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians. Swift, Jonathan // Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 2;1/1/1910, p168 

    Presents the poem "On the Words Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians," by Jonathan Swift. First Line: An inundation, says the fable, Last Line: To nourish vermin, may be bit.

  • Faith, Hope, and Charity in Swift's Poems to Stella. Fischer, John Irwin // Papers on Language & Literature;Spring78, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p123 

    The article discusses poems written by the English poet Jonathan Swift to his friend and former pupil Esther or Stella Johnson, with particular focus given to the themes of faith, hope, and charity. The relationship between Swift and Johnson is commented on, and the poems' Christian...

  • SWIFT'S `TRAMPLING UPON THE CRUCIFIX' ONCE MORE. Real, Hermann J.; Vienken, Heinz J. // Notes & Queries;Dec1983, Vol. 30 Issue 6, p513 

    The article focuses on English satirist Jonathan Swift's trampling upon the crucifix. Swift led the journalistic campaign for peace in the War of the Spanish Succession and held the Dutch in contempt. The most memorable expression of his disdain for the Hollanders occurs during traveler Lemuel...

  • 'NOT IN TIMON'S MANNER': LA BRUYÈRE AND SWIFT. Real, Hermann J.; Vienken, Heinz J. // Notes & Queries;Jun1985, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p203 

    The article presents information on a confession letter written by Jonathan Swift, a writer, to Alexander Pope, a poet, in 1725. In his letter he said that he has ever hated all nations professions and communities and all his love is towards individuals. He hated the tribe of lawyers but he...

  • PART TWO: Swift's Tale of a Tub and the Anthropology of Religion.  // Fringes of Belief: English Literature, Ancient Heresy, & the Pol;2008, p80 

    Chapter 3 of the book "Fringes of Belief: English Literature, Ancient Heresy, & the Politics of Free Thinking, 1660-1760" is presented. It questions Jonathan Swift's piety, faith and proper Anglican orthodoxy by criticizing his work " A Tale of a Tub". It discusses the beginnings of the...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics