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Laura Quinney

10  The anxiety of the self and the exile of the soul in Blake and Wordsworth Laura Quinney … the inability of the self to arrive at or be in equilibrium and rest by itself … Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death1 I was not born here I come and go W. S. Merwin, ‘Cold Spring Morning’2 Wordsworth and Blake are both inheritors of Enlightenment anatomies of the self (Locke, Hume, Hartley), and each of them writes about divisions within the self, and yet each is also partial to older concepts of the soul, less Christian than Gnostic and Neoplatonic. Instead of

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century

Christian dualism originated in the reign of Constans II (641-68). It was a popular religion, which shared with orthodoxy an acceptance of scriptual authority and apostolic tradition and held a sacramental doctrine of salvation, but understood all these in a radically different way to the Orthodox Church. One of the differences was the strong part demonology played in the belief system. This text traces, through original sources, the origins of dualist Christianity throughout the Byzantine Empire, focusing on the Paulician movement in Armenia and Bogomilism in Bulgaria. It presents not only the theological texts, but puts the movements into their social and political context.

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The birth and growth of major religions

What do we really know of the origins and first spread of major monotheistic religions, once we strip away the myths and later traditions that developed? Creating God uses modern critical historical scholarship alongside archaeology to describe the times and places which saw the emergence of Mormonism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. What was the social, economic and political world in which they began, and the framework of other contemporary religious movements in which they could flourish? What was their historical background and what was their geographical setting? Written from a secular viewpoint, the author reveals where a scholarly approach to the history of religions may diverge from the assumptions of faith, and shows the value of comparing different movements and different histories in one account. Throughout history, many individuals have believed that they were in direct contact with a divine source, receiving direction to spread a religious message. A few persuaded others and developed a following, and a small minority of such movements grew into full religions. In time, these movements developed, augmented, selected and invented their own narratives of foundation: stories about the founders’ lives and the early stages in which their religious group emerged. Modern critical scholarship helps us understand something of how a successful religion could emerge, thrive and begin the journey to become a world faith. This book presents a narrative to interest, challenge and intrigue readers interested in the beginnings of some of the most powerful ideas that have influenced human history.

Der Blaue Reiter and its legacies
Author: Dorothy Price

This book presents new research on the histories and legacies of the German Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter, the founding force behind modernist abstraction. For the first time Der Blaue Reiter is subjected to a variety of novel inter-disciplinary perspectives, ranging from a philosophical enquiry into its language and visual perception, to analyses of its gender dynamics, its reception at different historical junctures throughout the twentieth century, and its legacies for post-colonial aesthetic practices. The volume offers a new perspective on familiar aspects of Expressionism and abstraction, taking seriously the inheritance of modernism for the twenty-first century in ways that will help to recalibrate the field of Expressionist studies for future scholarship. Der Blaue Reiter still matters, the contributors argue, because the legacies of abstraction are still being debated by artists, writers, philosophers and cultural theorists today.

The Manchester School, colonial and postcolonial transformations
Author: Richard Werbner

Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.

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Suttree and art that sustains
Lydia R. Cooper

experiences both alienation and connection. The novel initially suggests social collapse through the use of bifurcating gnostic language applied to religious, political, and geographic images. 24 For example, Suttree remembers his dead twin and thinks that the dead twin is ‘in the limbo of the Christless righteous, I in a terrestrial hell,’ evoking the religious and locational aspects of gnosticism (14). Suttree concludes that he has more in common with whales and bats, ‘life forms meant for other mediums than the earth,’ a more ambiguous notion that suggests bifurcating

in Cormac McCarthy
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Blake, Milton, and Lovecraft in Ridley Scott's Prometheus
Jason Whittaker

Fibrous form, stretching out Thro’ the bottoms of immensity raging. ( BL 4:54–8, 68–72; E 93) This is not to claim a direct influence on Scott, particularly as such descriptions tend to be obscure to anyone other than a Blake scholar (although the illustrations depicting similar activities from The [First] Book of Urizen are more widely reproduced), but the Gnostic stories of

in William Blake's Gothic imagination
Janet Hamilton, Bernard Hamilton, and Yuri Stoyanov

about salvation through knowledge was derived from Gnostic Christianity. He taught that the entire physical creation was evil in its nature, apart from spiritual elements which were trapped in it, notably the souls of living creatures which were subject to transmigration. He offered his followers deliverance at death from reincarnation in this material world, provided that they were initiated into his

in Christian dualist heresies in the Byzantine world c. 650–c. 1450
Gerry Smyth

reading of both the career of Jesus and his ‘betrayal’ by Judas. The religious historian Bart D. Ehrman argues that the incident needs to be approached with reference to two key religious discourses which were vying with contemporary Jewish orthodoxy: Apocalypticism and Gnosticism. According to Ehrman, Jesus emerged (as did his predecessor John the Baptist) from a radical strand within contemporary Judaism which believed that the Kingdom of God was imminent. The established world order was patently evil: God was coming to destroy it, and He was coming soon. Jesus and

in The Judas kiss
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An ancient Egyptian Book of Genesis
Haythem Bastawy

. Arthur Donnithorne thus fulfils a complex role in Eliot's gnostic Genesis. In many ways, he is Lucifer, the fallen angel, the tempter, the seducer and the sinner. In other ways, he is also Seth, the evil god who was at times benign and even helpful to the other gods in the face of a larger evil, who is defeated and loses his offspring. Arthur/Seth/Satan is the foil to Adam/Atum/Jesus, or, as Eliot describes their relationship metaphorically: ‘In this way it happened that Arthur and Adam were walking towards the same spot at the same time’ from opposite directions

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt