Chapter

The Way to Divine Knowledge: The Mystical Critique of Rational Religion.

CATHERINE OSBORNE

in Religion and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century England

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269427
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683640 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269427.003.0005
The Way to Divine Knowledge: The Mystical Critique of Rational Religion.

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This chapter examines the mystical critique of rational religion in England during the 1800s. In 1820, clerical historians elucidated and criticised the heterogeneity of mysticism. It is shown that the mystics were never incorporated into a distinct sect and that while some professed high-wrought piety, others delighted in allegorizing the Scripture. The most notable mystics who opposed metaphysical rationalism were William Law, George Horne, and John Wesley. They lambasted the complacencies of Newtonian physico-theology just as others anathematized the impious systematization developed in its wake.

Keywords: mystics; rational religion; England; mysticism; William Law; George Horne; John Wesley; Newtonian physico-theology

Chapter.  16378 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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