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Blake Allen

Subject area and speciality

Philosophy of Religion specialists:

A Philosophical Poetics of Beauty

Research Interests

My research interests are all ultimately related to questions of aesthetics. In addition to its traditional domain, I am particularly interested in how aesthetic categories operate in areas that are not usually understood to be ‘aesthetic’. This would include, for example, the role of aesthetics in cognition, within the tradition of German Idealism. It would also include the place of ‘the beautiful’ in an account of truth and goodness, within the Platonist tradition. My current research is focused on the metaphysical and phenomenological significance of 'the beautiful' in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's thought. The latter involves a mediation of these earlier traditions. In addition to my focus on Coleridge, I am investigating the significance of the sublime and the beautiful within French Phenomenology, particularly with respect to the oeuvres of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Louis Chrétien. 




I supervise the following papers: A8 (Philosophy of Religion); D2g (Imagination); C11 (Truth, God, and Metaphysics). 


Other Professional Activities


"Coleridge, Beauty and the Middle Voice." D Society, Cambridge, November 2019.

"The Symbolism of Small Lights in Coleridge."  Arts & Theology Colloquium, Robinson College, Cambridge, September 2018. 



Key Publications


'Coleridge: Sublimity or Beauty?' in European Romantic Review 31.1 (Taylor & Francis; forthcoming - 2020)


'Coleridge's Metaphysics of Beauty' in Religion & Literature 52.2 (University of Notre Dame; forthcoming - 2021)


'Beauty' and 'Sublime' in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. Andrew Louth, 4th ed., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)


'The Eolian Harp: Coleridge's Middle Voice?' in Literature & Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press; forthcoming)



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