Joseph Andrews

discuss fieldings presentation of clergymen and what is his conception of the truly worthy man of relligion


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Fielding’s novels are full of clergymen, many of whom are less than exemplary; in the contrast between the benevolent Adams and his more self-interested brethren, Fielding draws the distinction between the mere formal profession of Christian doctrines and that active charity which he considers true Christianity. Fielding advocated the expression of religious duty in everyday human interactions: universal, disinterested compassion arises from the social affections and manifests itself in general kindness to other people, relieving the afflictions and advancing the welfare of mankind. One might say that Fielding’s religion focuses on morality and ethics rather than on theology or forms of worship; as Adams says to the greedy and uncharitable Parson Trulliber, “Whoever therefore is void of Charity, I make no scruple of pronouncing that he is no Christian.”