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The Alternative Trinity – Gnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake | Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Alternative Trinity: Gnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake

The late A. D. Nuttall


The Trinity of orthodox Christianity is harmonious. The Trinity for Blake is, conspicuously, not a happy family: the Father and the Son do not get on. It might be thought that so cumbersome a notion is inconceivable before the rise of Romanticism but the Ophite Gnostics of the 2nd century AD appear to have thought that God the Father was a jealous tyrant because he forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and that the serpent, who led the way to the Tree of Knowledge, was really Christ. This book explores the possibility of an underground ‘perennial heresy’, linking the Ophites t ... More

Keywords: Trinity, Blake, Romanticism, Ophite Gnostics, Tree of Knowledge, Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, Milton, Paradise Lost

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198184621
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184621.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

The late A. D. Nuttall, author
New College, Oxford