I thank Prof. Herbert Zeman, who gave me the idea for this essay. I would also like tothank the participants of his seminar “Geschichte der religiösen Dichtung imeuropäischen Zusammenhang,” in which the idea was conceived, and to which anearlier form of it was presented. I would especially like to thank Frater Johannes PaulChavanne OCist who persuaded Prof. Zeman to lead the seminar, and collected the participants. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Karl Wallner OCist, my advisor.I must also thank my superiors, Abbot Gregor Henckel Donnersmarck OCist;my former prior, Abbot Christian Feurstein OCist; and my current prior, P. SimeonWester OCist, for causing me to begin and helping me to finish this project. I also thank my confreres in Heiligenkreuz for their assistance—especially Frater Kilian Müller OCist, Frater Damian Lienhart OCist, and Frater Leopold Storczer OCist. TheOratorians of the Vienna Oratory received me as their guest for three weeks while I waswriting this thesis. I thank them all—especially the Praepositus, P. Felix Selden, Cong.Orat., and the pastor of St. Rochus, P. Florian Calice, Cong. Orat. I also thank MuireannSimpson and Bailey Fator who gave me valuable encouragement (not to mention sushi!)during my stay in Vienna.Whatever other faults the following essay may have, at least it is not original. To be original is usually to be wrong. The works on which I have explicitly based it on arelisted in the bibliography, but a far more important source are the persons I have learnedfrom. Obviously, I cannot list everyone who has influenced my thought on thesematters, but I would like to acknowledge at least some of those who have particularlyinfluenced this essay.First my parents Michael and Susie Waldstein, my first teachers, who were alsothe first to introduce me to Newman’s
Their influence in this essay isespecially strong in the account of the rise of secular reason, Francis Bacon’s key role inthat process, and in my use of the works of Charles De Koninck. Next I want to acknowledge the help of Thomas Howard, to whom this essay isdedicated. He taught me to read literature, and interpret it theologically. Ever since Iwas a little homeschooler sitting in on his classes on Dante and T. S. Eliot he has takena most generous interest in me; reading everything that I have written and returning it“like a serve in tennis” with insightful comments. His influence on this essay isespecially apparent in the literary analysis of the
and in the account of enthusiasm.