Between the black and white spiders: Anatheism and The Marriage of heaven and hell

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Andrew Slade


William Blake displays a spiritual vision in his poetry, or an awareness of a significant arena of reality that most of us are blind to. It is this tremendous spiritual vision that makes Blake so exciting and spiritually nourishing to read. The main objective of the project will be to investigate this spiritual vision through the work of philosopher Richard Kearney. Kearney posits in his book Anatheism that human beings must undergo a period of atheism in order to come to a more genuine faith in God. I aim to synthesize the poetry of Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell with the philosophy of Richard Kearney. I intend to investigate the relation between despair and exultation as an anatheistic moment. By using each text to come to a better understanding of the other, I will show that The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is decidedly anatheistic.


Blake, William, 1757-1827. Marriage of heaven and hell Criticism, Textual, Kearney, Richard. Anatheism, Faith in literature, Literature; philosophy; William Blake; spirituality; The Marriage of heaven and hell; Richard Kearney; anatheism; proverbs of hell; mysticism; iconoclast; prophet; sacramental

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2013, author