Degree Granting Department
art, esotericism, magic, occult, Percy Bysshe Shelley, performance
William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley created literary works intending them to comprise religious systems, thus negotiating the often-conflicting roles of religion and modern art and literature. Both men credited Percy Bysshe Shelley as a major influence, and Shelley's ideas of art as religion may have shaped their pursuit to create working religions from their art. This study analyzes the beliefs, prophetic practices, myths, rituals, and invocations found in their literature, focusing particularly on Yeats's Supernatural Songs, Celtic Mysteries, and Island of Statues, and Crowley's "Philosopher's Progress," "Garden of Janus," Rites of Eleusis, and "Hymn to Pan." While anthropological definitions generally distinguish art from religion, Crowley's religion, Thelema, satisfies requirements for both categories, as Yeats's Celtic Mysteries may have done had he completed the project.
Scholar Commons Citation
Clanton, Amy M., "Religion as Aesthetic Creation: Ritual and Belief in William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.