Date of Award

Spring 1982

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Henry Burgess

Second Advisor

Joseph Ward

Third Advisor

James Bartruff


A reactionary and a renegade, Janies Joyce divorced himself from the Catholic Church in 1898. Since then, many critics for good reason have chosen to see him as a purely secular writer, whose concern for a spiritual element in life is lacking. They have read his condemnation of the Catholic church, felt the vehemence of his insults. They have imagined his characters--Dedalus, Bloom, Molly, Mulligan, Earwicker, Shem, Shawn--who by their thoughts and actions testify to Joyce's want to spiritual fervor. They read Joyce and shake their heads at his spiritual poverty. But, this kind of reading of James Joyce is unjust. It is not fair to a man educated by the Jesuits for twelve years and whose sole mission during his lifetime, besides caring for his family, was to express the "holy spirit of joy in literature."^ This thesis is intended to clarify the misconception that Joyce was unconcerned about the spiritual substance of life. It will demonstrate the great depth of Joyce's immersion into an all-embracing spirituality. This spirituality led him beyond the bounds of religious institutions and the restraints of political ideology This thesis treats James Joyce's Ulysses by placing special emphasis on its principal character, Leopold Bloom. Essentially, it answers these two questions: Where does a spiritual relationship exist between man and God in Ulysses? And secondly, what are the characteristics of this relationship in Ulysses?