Category Archives: Empire vs. Revolution (10/16)

Blake and Paine: Reason is Evil

William Blake constantly tries to deconstruct the binaries formed in our society by proposing radical ideas and using religion. In addition, Thomas Paine rejects reason as the source of good in his work, from The Rights of Man (1791). Blake’s “The voice of the Devil” (1790) realigns the radical ideas proposed by Paine with the […] Continue reading

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Blake and Paine Unite

Through my interpretation of The Little Black Boy, there are multiple similarities that realign between Blakes message and Paine’s radical ideals via his Swedenborgian-Moravian view of Christianity. There were a few points Paine made that stood out to me, that of which in themselves detest the social norm of slavery at that time. The first being […] Continue reading

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Blake and Revolution: Can Christians Promote Revolution?

As we discussed last week, Blake was inspired by Moravian beliefs in his art and writing. When talking about revolution and fighting back, you would think that is one of the most anti-christian things that a person could do. I think in a weird way, the Moravian beliefs almost encourage Revolution, but through peace and […] Continue reading

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A Correlation Between Religion and Empire?: The French Revolution and Political Lenses of Religion

When looking at the history of Blake and his founded distrust towards the French Monarchy, and taking into account his general nuance towards the subject of the Enlightenment of France, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find any literature that shows any true resentment. I think that there are some parallels to be found within […] Continue reading

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An Inspired Devil

When William Blake refers to Thomas Paine as ““either a Devil or an Inspired Man” in Watson’s Apology for a Bible, he is further accepting and emphasizing not only the potential genius in Evil itself, but also the necessity of a faith that is between Christianity and Satanism (456). He strongly displays these radical beliefs […] Continue reading

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Deconstructing Institutions

Thus, far we have read various passages of Blake’s works, noting interpretations and meaning of such works. Interestingly enough, Blake has presented his distaste in binaries either from ideologies like right &  wrong, just & unjust, female & male, etc. Including, radical ideas like getting rid of institutionalized ideologies the evade within our social spheres. […] Continue reading

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Accept God, But Don’t Be Deceived

Thomas Paine employed his literature that empowers a spark inside the English circles that his work has been either ridiculed or praised by readers for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, Paine was driven to express his admiration and faith in God, and just like a Newtonians, he avows the Deistic for the pursuit of happiness […] Continue reading

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Wolf in Knight’s Armor: Civility in “Holy Thursday”

The contrasting levels of power present harmoniously in “Holy Thursday” from Songs of Innocence, like the children, beadles, and God in St. John’s Cathedral, illustrates the exertion of false power Thomas Paine and William Blake’s Moravian beliefs rejected. This civility with which the scene in “Holy Thursday” is conducted with demonstrates the way  civility fosters social hierarchies and […] Continue reading

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Revolting with Satirical Seriousness

Blake is being satirical in his comments about Paine being “a better Christian than the Bishop [and being] either a Devil or an inspired Man” (460, 456). The poem The Little Black Boyrealigns the radical ideas proposed by Paine with the poet-artist’s Swedenborgian-Moravian view of Christianity and shows the contradictions and satire Blake demonstrates. In […] Continue reading

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Prophets against Empire

In his marginal comments to Watson’s An Apology for the Bible, Blake considers Thomas Paine’s secular enlightenment assault on revealed religion to be the work of “either a Devil or an Inspired Man” (456).  He also notes that “Paine is a better Christian than the Bishop” (460).  For next Wednesday (10/16), write a post that […] Continue reading

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