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Author(s): Mala Issac | Dr. Sadhana Agrawal

Journal: The Dawn Journal
ISSN 2277-1786

Volume: 02;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 536;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Lenten | advent | liturgy | birth-death-rebirth.

Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a playwright, literary critic, and the most important English language poet of the 20th century. Although he was born as an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 at age 25 and was naturalized as a British subject in 1927 at age 39. On June 29, 1927, Eliot converted to Anglicanism from Unitarianism, and in November that year, he took British citizenship. He became a warden of his parish church, Saint Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London, and a life member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr. He was specifically identified as Anglo-Catholic, proclaiming himself classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and Anglo-Catholic in religion. About thirty years later Eliot commented on his religious views that he combined "a Catholic cast of mind, a Calvinist heritage, and a Puritanical temperament.As Eliot was converted into Anglican his faith began to deepen in Catholicism. His compositions got richly colored in the Christian Calendar and the Christian colors. He started taking allusions from the holy Bible and the Christian feasts and festivals for his writings. Christians celebrate two major festivals, the Christmas and the Easter. Eliot wrote with deep religious feelings on both these festivals. His Ash Wednesday and Journey of the Magi are the two creations that have full coverage of the rituals and the celebrations of these two major festivals of Christianity. Ash Wednesday consists of the Easter Liturgy and Journey of the Magi consists of the Christmas Liturgy and celebrations. Weeks of December before the arrival of Christmas are called as the season of Advent. It means the preparation for the coming of Jesus and the weeks before the arrival of Easter are known as the season of Lent that comprises of recalling the pain and sufferings of Jesus, his death and his resurrection for the good of human on earth. Hence, we can conclude that the creation of Journey of the Magi just after his conversion into Anglicanism is the reflection of his catholic conscience that was preparing to welcome Jesus in his life as Christians do during the Advent.
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