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Tennyson's Prologue to the Strong Son of God: Faith and Doubt

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Tennyson's prologue to In Memoriam is addressed to the "Strong Son of God, immortal Love" (1).  As an address, it tells as as much about the doubts and weakness of Tennyson's faith as it does about his trust and hope in Christ.   Tennyson wants to hold on to his faith despite his radical, empirical doubts.  His opening prologue, while generally pious in tone, already reveals the doubt that will linger throughout Tennyson's long poem. 

Question: How does Tennyson balance his faith and his doubt?  Which does the prologue seem to focus more on?

Conceptions of Trust/Faith

Conceptions of Doubt/Limits

His initial address to Christ as both 'Son of God" and "immortal Love." An admission that we have not seen Christ's face
We must hold to faith by faith alone. For it is something we cannot prove.
Christ as God is the creator of the stars and planets, as well as life and death. Lines seven and eight may be understood to suggest that Christ has conquered death. Yet at the same time, lines seven and eight may also suggest that Christ/God is the bringer of death to his creatures.
God will not leave us dead.  He is just. Yet we cannot understand why we were made and can only think (not know) that we were made for something other than death.
Christ's two natures are affirmed. Yet Tennyson's affirmation is of one that seemest.
Equally, "our wills are ours" to make them Christ's. Yet "we know not how" to do this.
God is far more than our human conceptions of him. But that is what we have to go on--"little systems" that "are but broken lights of thee."
Trust and faith, come from God, are beams of light in the darkness. Knowledge is limited to what we can see.
Tennyson prays that empirical knowledge and intuitional faith might make a music together. God must do this, for we are but fools and "vain worlds."
He asks forgiveness for his sin and false pride in worth. Yet again these things seemeth.
He also asks to be forgiven his grief for Hallam's death. He asks to be forgiven for his "wild and wandering cries."
He "trusts" (however weakly or strongly) that Hallam lives in God. Of course, this "trust" again cannot be proven per se.
He asks Christ to make him wise. He asks for forgiveness where he has failed in truth.
A biblical and epistemological response to Tennyson's division would offer some of the following:
  1. Granting that faith and trust often require us to hold to what we cannot see (Heb 12), nonetheless faith begins out of a covenantal relationship with God, one that God initiates by revealing who he is and who we are before him.
  2. Likewise, faith has a rational component: it has a kind of unity, coherence, and common sense realism about it. And faith forms certain basic beliefs from which we seek to understand the larger universe about us.
  3. As Tennyson suggests, we are finite, limited beings with often mistaken (even sinfully deceptive) notions about God, the universe, and ourselves. This includes our systems of theology, our religious traditions, and our own personal experiences with God.
  4. Nonetheless, we should stress that God has given us sufficient knowledge about himself and the world and ourselves in order to live, work, play, and repent. Provisional knowledge is not relative knowledge; rather, it is knowledge that seeks to act and be obedient on the basis of what we do know, even as it also remains open to reformation.

"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding