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by James Joyce

Ulysses Religion Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph), except for the "Circe" episode, which is (Chapter.Line) and the "Penelope" episode, which is (Chapter.Page). We used the Vintage International edition published in 1990.

Quote #4

"But, ladies and gentlemen, had the youthful Moses listened to and accepted that view of life, had he bowed his head and bowed his will and bowed his spirit before that arrogant admonition he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage nor followed the pillar of the cloud by day. He would never have spoken with the Eternal amid lightnings on Sinai's mountaintop nor ever have come down with the light of inspiration shining in his countenance and bearing in his arms the tables of the law, graven in the language of the outlaw." (7.433)

Here Professor MacHugh is reciting a piece of oratory by John F. Taylor in the newspaper offices at the Freeman in "Aeolus." Why would he compare Ireland's political struggle to that of Moses and the Jews in Egypt? How is it that the men can draw such a blatant comparison between the struggle of the Jews and that of the Irish and yet still act anti-Semitic on a daily basis?

Quote #5

Blood of the Lamb.

His slow feet walked him riverward, reading. Are you saved? All are washed in the blood of the lamb. God wants blood victim. Birth, hymen, martyr, war, foundation of a building, sacrifice, kidney burntoffering, druid's altars. Elijah is coming. Dr John Alexander Dowie, restorer of the church in Zion, is coming. (8.5-6)

Here, near the start of "Lestrygonians," Bloom gets handed a throwaway paper with a religious sermon printed on it. This begins the association of Bloom with the prophet Elijah that will persist throughout the book. What is the view of religion offered by the clips from the throwaway paper? How does it compare to the more mature view of Stephen Dedalus? In what ways is Bloom prophetic? What does it mean to associate an ordinary man with a prophet?

Quote #6

"I believe, O Lord, help my unbelief. That is, help me to believe or help me to unbelieve? Who helps to believe? Egomen. Who to unbelieve? Other chap." (9.386)

In "Scylla and Charybdis," Stephen has just been asked by John Eglinton if he believes in the theory that he has presented to the men. He says no, and then this is his thought. Stephen is quoting a line from the Gospel of Mark (9:24), but what does Stephen want to believe in. What does Stephen already believe in and where does his faith fall short? Is his belief still religious or is it only related to his own art? How is Stephen using these lines in a different sense than Mark did in the gospel.

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