A groundbreaking exploration of the themes of faith and doubt in Emily Dickinson's poetry

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Notes on texts     xi
1 Introduction: Nimble Believing     1
2 Varieties of Religion in Emily Dickinson     35
3 Bible Stories and Divine Encounters     81
4 The Unknown as Needed and Dreadful     123
Notes     161
Bibliography     183
Index of First Lines     189
Index     192


"The most subtly intelligent discussion of Dickinson's spirituality."
--Harold Bloom, Genius

" . . . a truly literary study in the largest, most humane, sense. Instead of subjecting poems to the distortions of theory, it brings biography, theology, psychology, and cultural history to bear on the intricacies of language, where all the issues of the poet's life and work converge, contend, and seek resolution."
--Albert Gelpi, American Literature

" . . . insightful readings of many of Dickinson's difficult poems and . . . a significant contribution to Dickinson studies."

"McIntosh shows the power of Dickinson's religious quest in word, in verse, and in truth. He shows that she was much more than an ever-adolescent angry rebel trying to subvert the religious oppression of benighted Amherst neighbors."
---Emily Dickinson Journal

James McIntosh is Professor of English and American Culture, University of Michigan.