Korean journal considers Blake and Natural Religion

Heesun Kim examines some of the ways in which Blake responded to the Deistic ideas of his time.

Volume 28, issue 4 of the Literature and Religion includes an article by Heesun Kim, "Blake’s Critique on Natural Religion, and Restoration of ‘The True Man’":

William Blake was a radical Romantic poet in the age of Reason, the late 18th-century England, challenging prevailing Enlightenment ideologies, especially Deism and Natural Religion. He was critical of prominent thinkers of his time, such as Bacon, Newton, and Locke, who formed the “Satanic Trinity” in his mind. In his works from his earliest writing like All Religions Are One to his final prophetic work, Jerusalem, Blake extensively criticized the scientific and experimental beliefs underlying Deism and Natural Religion. The idea of “The Poetic Genius” and “The True Man” formed a crucial basis for his art, redefining humanity. This study closely examines Blake’s critical content on Natural Religion in his writings and poetry, with a focus on his intense debates and discussions with figures like Bacon, Locke, and Newton. Furthermore, it explores the meanings of concepts like “Poetic Genius,” “Imagination,” and “The True Man,” shedding light on Blake’s vision of a restored humanity and the city of Jerusalem. Blake also argued that “Art and Science” must ultimately be united in the restored Eden called Jerusalem.

Heesun Kim is an academic at the Department of English Language and Literature, Sungkyul University.

This paper is available via Literature and Religion. (Korean.)