The Alternative Trinity: Gnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake

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9780199213160: The Alternative Trinity: Gnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake
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The Trinity of orthodox Christianity is harmonious. The Trinity for Blake is, conspicuously, not a happy family: the Father and the Son do not get on. It might be thought that so cumbersome a notion is inconceivable before the rise of Romanticism but the Ophite Gnostics of the second century AD appear to have thought that God the Father was a jealous tyrant because he forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and that the serpent, who led the way to the Tree of Knowledge, was really Christ. This book explores the possibility of an underground "perennial heresy," linking the Ophites to Blake. The "alternative Trinity" is intermittently visible in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and even in Milton's Paradise Lost. Blake's notorious detection of a pro-Satan anti-poem, latent in this "theologically patriarchal" epic is less capricious, better grounded historically and philosophically, than is commonly realized.

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A. D. Nuttall is Professor of English and Fellow of New College, Oxford. His previous books include Why Does Tragedy Give Pleasure? and Dead from the Waist Down.

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"Nuttall is constantly illuminating and informative."--Times Literary Supplement


"Nuttall offers some engaging expositions of familiar material and some useful citations of less familiar lore. Recommended for graduate collections and research collections."--Choice


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Book Description Condition: New. Oxford University Press, 2007. 302p. Paperback. This reprint of the late and much missed Anthony Nuttall's The Alternative Trinity reminds us of his astounding erudition as well as his brilliantly funny wit. These ingredients which have become the hallmark of Nuttall's work make this book both challenging and entertaining to read. Elizabeth Muller, Revue electronique detudes sur le monde anglophone 20/01/2009 (Publisher's information). Condition: New Print on Demand. Printed on Demand. Seller Inventory # 39109

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