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Title:  The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake Author:  Thomas J. J. Altizer Philosophical and Cultural Studies in Religion Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers soft cover 240 pp. USD 24.00 ISBN 978-1888570564 September, 2000 In The New Apocalypse it is the author's thesis that William Blake is the most original prophet and seer in the history of Christendom, that he created a whole new form of vision embodying a modern radical and spiritual expression of Christianity, and that an understanding of his revolutionary work demands a new form of theological understanding. Although radical Christianity was given a genuine mystical expression by Meister Eckhart and his followers, to say nothing of the radical Protestant mystics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it has never made a real impact upon Christian theology, and not until Blake was it given a full visionary form. Unlike the epic poetry of Dante and Milton, Blake’s prophetic poetry both transcends and negates its roots in the Christian tradition: it unveils a Jesus who is the totality of both God and man, envisions a cosmic history reflecting a movement from Fall to Apocalypse, and records an ecstatic immersion in the joy and the horror of concrete experience. To enter the world of Blake’s vision is to be initiated into a new and radical form of faith, a paradoxical but deeply modern faith that is both sacred and profane, both mystical and contemporary. This study represents an initial theological attempt to enter the world of Blake’s vision, to appropriate from that vision a theological form that will be relevant to our world, and to do so on the basis of a dialectical understanding of theology, choosing Hegel as a guide to the dialectical ground and meaning of Blake’s vision in the belief that Hegel’s dialectical “system” is a far more effective guide to Blake’s visionary world than are the traditional forms of Christian theology and mysticism. Contents Abbreviations for Works of William Blake Introduction Part I Fall 1. Dialectic and Fall; 2. God; 3. Nature; 4. Perception and the Senses; 5. Sex and the Body; 6. Reason; 7. Space and Ulro; 8. Religion; 9. The Female Part II Redemption 1. The Age of the Spirit; 2. Incarnation and Kenosis; 3. Atonement and Luvah; 4. Creation; 5. The Female; 6. Generation and Regeneration Part III History 1. History and Vision; 2. Paradise and History; 3. Cosmos and History; 4. God and History; 5. Jesus; 6. States and the Individual Part IV Apocalypse 1. America 2. Dialectic and Apocalypse; 3. Mysticism and Eschatology; 4. Self-annihilation; 5. Christ and Antichrist Afterword Notes Index Author Thomas J. J. Altizer is a native of Charleston, West Virginia. He took his PhD at the University of Chicago and is presently Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, The State University of New York at Stony Brook. Altizer can be characterized as the most radical theologian of our age: a major exponent of the death of God theology, and the only theologian who has constructed a full and comprehensive radical theology, one grounded in the Bible, our imaginative traditions, modern dialectical philosophy, and a Buddhist horizon.
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