The king of glory : an exploration into the resurrection motif in the writitngs of D.H. Lawrence : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in English at Massey University
In this thesis I seek to relate the early Congregationalist up-bringing of Lawrence, and the rheological factors that shaped that theological milieu, to the subsequent rejection by Lawrence of orthodox Christian belief, and to the search for dark gods and an adequate resurrection symbolism with which he replaced it. I do so first by looking at the paramount theological and sociological forces shaping Lawrence's early thought, and briefly comparing Lawrence's response to those influences to the response of other philosophers and theologians of the era. In doing so, however, I recognize that Lawrence is not accurately described as a theologian or a philosopher, but rather that he is open to common influences with those scholars.
Having placed Lawrence into a religious and historical context, I explore his responses to that context as it is revealed in his search for an adequate resurrection imagery, first in the more raw treatment given in three poems, and then, more exhaustively, in Lawrence's more complete treatment given to the theme in three novels, representative of three major phases of Lawrence's life. In the poems I find first a rejection of institutionalized religion, then a belief in resurrection as a ' rite of passage' within an individual life, and finally as an existential option by which to face death, as life, with integrity. In the novels I find a recognition of death and resurrection as a cyclical, personal experience in life available to those who continue to grasp life to its full potential, and not to adopt some form of mauvais fois, then as a collective societal experience based on recapturing ancient rites and beliefs, and finally as a potential, personal experience based on intense personal self communicat ion, epitomized by authentic and adventurous - self-giving in sex. [From Precis]