Cavafy’s Poetica Gnostica: in Quest of a Christian Consciousness


  • Vassilis Adrahtas


This article is not interested in whether C.P. Cavafy was a faithful or a nominalChristian. It is not even interested in the religious references, Christian or not, within hiswork. Some have already approached the personal religious convictions of the poet1–only to cause confusion over the issue – while others have traced and analysed thetheological viewpoints embedded in his poetry and prose2– only to end up with a well-informed but rather inconsistent set of conclusions. It is not that Cavafy’s religiousalliances or sources are not significant fields of research in themselves, but that theirproper assessment requires a certain hermeneutic contextualisation pertaining to the dis -tinctiveness of Cavafy’s literary contribution. Thus before sorting out Cavafy’s reli giosityor theological learnedness one has to address the question of his position in thehierophany3history and typology of Western culture. In other words the priority lies in thecentre of Cavafy’s religious experience and theology.