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Virtual Museum of Canada
Descent of Peace and the Adoration of the Child by Nature

William Blake's The Everlasting Gospe

Jesus and his Apostles and his Disciples were all Artists … The Old and New Testaments are the Great Code of Art. Art is the Tree of Life. GOD is Jesus. Science is the Tree of Death.
William Blake, The Laocoon

When William Blake criticized the Enlightenment understanding of Jesus, he did it, like everything else, with an imagination and excessiveness that has rarely been matched. In The Everlasting Gospel, Blake presents Jesus not as a moral theorizer or a prodigious philosopher, but as the very embodiment of the "poetic," as a supremely creative being above rigid dogma, above harsh logic, above even morality. Jesus explodes from the pages of Blake's poetry with a fierce apocalypticism far removed from the eminently rational Enlightenment Jesus. With Blake, Jesus becomes more than just a thinker or a moralizer, he becomes a symbol of being, of the vital and non-dualistic relationship between divinity and humanity.

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Date Modified: 1999-12-31

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