In his seminal essay ‘Religion and Literature’, T. S. Eliot asserts: ‘What I believe to be incumbent upon all of Christians is the duty of maintaining consciously certain standards and criteria of criticism over and above those applied to the rest of the world; and that by these criteria and standards everything that we read must be tested.’1 Through such an assertion Eliot not only links religion and literature but establishes a criterion for the interdisciplinary study of the fields: a Christian ethic and theological standpoint. Like Eliot, albeit differently, S. T. Coleridge underscores the necessary fusion of literature and theology. And, furthermore, as Eliot, he serves as a central figure in both the criticism and literary texts of the interdisciplinary field. It should come as no surprise, then, that scholars such as Robert J. Barth, S. J. not only seemingly adhere to the tenants of Eliot’s ‘Religion and Literature’ but apply them to the work of Coleridge, and thus construct essays the likes of which include the ‘Theological Implications of Coleridge’s Theory of Imagination’.2 All said, we could conclude that the model for the discipline of literature and theology offered by Barth, and, in turn, by Eliot and Coleridge, that places a wager on transcendence or the presence of the divine proves theoretically viable and fruitful for scholarship. If, however, we take into consideration interpretations of Coleridge that do not make a wager on transcendence, such as Linda Maria Brooks article ‘Sublimity and Theatricality: Romanic “Pre-Postmodernism” in Schiller and Coleridge’, the discipline of literature and theology is, at best, challenged and, at worst, disappears.3 To help us better understand how both interpretations of Coleridge and the subsequent presence and absence of the interdisciplinary field of literature and theology paradoxically coexist, we will explore the work of

Barth and Brooks mentioned above. In turn, we will raise questions about the way the field of literature and theology has traditionally been conceived. And, finally, we will consider the possibility of the discipline within the space and tension of imagination and doubt, transcendence and blank vacuousness.