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The Awakened OnesPhenomenology of Visionary Experience$
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Gananath Obeyesekere

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153621

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153621.001.0001

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Christian Dissent

Christian Dissent

The Protest Against Reason

(p.243) Book 5 Christian Dissent
The Awakened Ones

Gananath Obeyesekere

Columbia University Press

This chapter considers those who lived and worked under the shadow of the Enlightenment, building a bridge between the visions of Catholic penitents and those who experienced visions in the height of the age of reason. It begins by interrogating E. P. Thompson's Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law in order to look at the antinomianism (“against the law”) of the late seventeenth century, a form of radical dissent that refused to accept conventional Christian ethics, including the rule of the father and the authority of the Church. The major focus, however, will be on Jacob Boehme, who, like his Catholic forbears, was a visionary and experienced a dark night of the soul and a spiritual awakening. In all of his writing, Boehme employed alchemical and occult thinking and reasoning that had considerable impact on English Behmenists, including Blake and, much later on, the philosophical and psychological treatises of Blavatsky and Jung.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, E. P. Thompson, William Blake, antinomianism, Christian ethics, radical dissent, Jacob Boheme, Behmenists, Blavatsky, Jung

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