Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (1):1-31 (2009)
AbstractWhy focus on the work of William Blake in a journal dedicated to religious ethics? The question is neither trivial nor rhetorical. Blake 's work is certainly not in anyone's canon of significant texts for the study of Christian or, more broadly, religious ethics. Yet Blake, however subversive his views, sought to lay out a Christian vision of the good, alternated between prophetic denunciations of the world's folly and harrowing laments over the wreck of the world's promise, and wrote poetry as if poetry might mend the world. Setting imagination against the calculations of reason and the comfort of custom, Blake 's poems inspire questions about the relationship of ethics to prophecy, and open the possibility that ethics itself would be markedly enriched could it find a place for what Thomas J. J. Altizer has called Christian epic poetry
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