Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
God & the GothicReligion, Romance, & Reality in the English Literary Tradition$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alison Milbank

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824466.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 February 2020

Holy Terrors

Holy Terrors

The Mystical Gothic of Arthur Machen, Evelyn Underhill, and Charles Williams

(p.269) 13 Holy Terrors
God & the Gothic

Alison Milbank

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 13, a range of writers, all belonging to the Christian occult group, the Order of the Golden Dawn, employ Gothic tropes to describe theurgic/magical mystical ascent, whereby the material world is raised to the spiritual. Arthur Machen made ecstasy the aim of literature, and his Three Impostors is a self-reflexive work in which embedded tales seek to engender this mystical alchemy, whereby the abject is theurgically raised. Evelyn Underhill takes the concept of the doppelgänger in A Column of Dust to a new place as a heuristic device to learn the love which alone makes knowledge transformative. Like Underhill, Charles Williams explores the redemptive power of the doppelgänger for his theology of reciprocity and exchange in Descent into Hell. Gothic tropes enable a spiritual education and find new ways to deal with the loss of meaning in the natural world.

Keywords:   Arthur Machen, theurgy, Order of the Golden Dawn, magic, Evelyn Underhill, Charles Williams, double, doppelgänger, exchange, Dionysius the Areopagite

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .