Swift Prophet by Anne Barbeau Gardiner

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Swift Prophet

The Christian Meaning of Gulliver’s Travels

In Gulliver’s Travels, the narrator goes from being a barely nominal Christian to an atheist, yet Jonathan Swift’s masterpiece is a deeply religious meditation on the “mystery of iniquity” (Matt. 24:12) as it is worked out in the Church in Britain past, present, and future. In Gulliver’s Travels, Swift defends the Church with consummate irony by using the voice of an irreligious narrator.

Swift was a high-church clergyman who took religion very seriously. A friend who knew him well reported that he used . . .