Jerusalem: Her Character and Context

Susanne M. Sklar

in Blake's Jerusalem As Visionary Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603145
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731594 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Jerusalem: Her Character and Context

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Jerusalem's character is informed by many biblical figures – especially the harlot, the bride, and the Woman clothed with the Sun in the Book of Revelation. In his heroine, Blake challenges notions of divine jealousy, the veneration of virginity central to Boehme's vision of Sophia (Divine Wisdom), and the righteousness preached by Joanna Southcott in her dramatic London ministry. In Blake's poem Jerusalem is condemned as a harlot because of her ‘dishounorable’ forgiveness; (Chapter One); she is severed from humanity and the land she seeks to redeem (Chapter Two); in maternal anguish she descends into mechanistic mills and nearly loses her mind (Chapter Three); but then she confronts those who destroy the earth, faces a dragon who eats her, and rises — enabling all living creatures to participate in ‘the Divine Body, the Saviour's Kingdom’ (Chapter Four).

Keywords: bride; Boehme; forgiveness; harlot; jealousy; Revelation; Southcott; virginity; Woman Clothed with the Sun

Chapter.  12401 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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