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Durham University

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Mr Chutian Xiao

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I finished my MA in English Literature at Durham University. Supervised by Professor Michael O’Neill, I am currently working on the poetic use of Buddhism in T. S. Eliot’s poetry. Eliot’s interest in Buddhism can be traced back to his early youth. In his Harvard years, he undertook serious studies in Buddhism. Buddhist thought occupies a significant place in his most important work. It is synthesised into his religious and philosophical worldview. My research focuses on how Eliot creatively uses Buddhist thought to aid his poetic expression, and to what extent Buddhism helps construct his religious and philosophical ideology. When using Buddhist thought, often he gives it a subtle twist to suit his own poetic need or makes his own interpretations from other perspectives such as that of Christianity. Therefore, the issue of Eliot’s poetic use of Buddhism is closely related to his religious sensibility and his idea of the difference between poetry and religion.

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