Philosophy Between the Lines

The Lost History of Esoteric Writing

Author: Arthur M. Melzer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022617509X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 471

View: 3095

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"Philosophical esotericism--the practice of communicating one's unorthodox thoughts 'between the lines'--was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others'. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought... Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings--philosophical, but also theological, political, and literary--were composed prior to the nineteenth century."--Publisher's Web site.

Philosophy Between the Lines

The Lost History of Esoteric Writing

Author: Arthur M. Melzer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022617512X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 464

View: 4897

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Philosophical esotericism—the practice of communicating one’s unorthodox thoughts “between the lines”—was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others’. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought. Arthur M. Melzer serves as our deeply knowledgeable guide in this capacious and engaging history of philosophical esotericism. Walking readers through both an ancient (Plato) and a modern (Machiavelli) esoteric work, he explains what esotericism is—and is not. It relies not on secret codes, but simply on a more intensive use of familiar rhetorical techniques like metaphor, irony, and insinuation. Melzer explores the various motives that led thinkers in different times and places to engage in this strange practice, while also exploring the motives that lead more recent thinkers not only to dislike and avoid this practice but to deny its very existence. In the book’s final section, “A Beginner’s Guide to Esoteric Reading,” Melzer turns to how we might once again cultivate the long-forgotten art of reading esoteric works. Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings—philosophical, but also theological, political, and literary—were composed prior to the nineteenth century.

Persecution and the Art of Writing

Author: Leo Strauss

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022622788X

Category: Political Science

Page: 214

View: 4888

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The essays collected in Persecution and the Art of Writing all deal with one problem—the relation between philosophy and politics. Here, Strauss sets forth the thesis that many philosophers, especially political philosophers, have reacted to the threat of persecution by disguising their most controversial and heterodox ideas.

The Natural Goodness of Man

On the System of Rousseau's Thought

Author: Arthur M. Melzer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022622600X

Category: Political Science

Page: 328

View: 2422

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The true key to all the perplexities of the human condition, Rousseau boldly claims, is the “natural goodness of man.” It is also the key to his own notoriously contradictory writings, which, he insists, are actually the disassembled parts of a rigorous philosophical system rooted in that fundamental principle. What if this problematic claim—so often repeated, but as often dismissed—were resolutely followed and explored? Arthur M. Melzer adopts this approach in The Natural Goodness of Man. The first two parts of the book restore the original, revolutionary significance of this now time-worn principle and examine the arguments Rousseau offers in proof of it. The final section unfolds and explains Rousseau’s programmatic thought, especially the Social Contract, as a precise solution to the human problem as redefined by the principle of natural goodness. The result is a systematic reconstruction of Rousseau’s philosophy that discloses with unparalleled clarity both the complex weave of his argument and the majestic unity of his vision. Melzer persuasively resolves one after another of the famous Rousseauian paradoxes–enlarging, in the process, our understanding of modern philosophy and politics. Engagingly and lucidly written, The Natural Goodness of Man will be of interest to general as well as scholarly readers.

An Approach to Aristotle's Physics

With Particular Attention to the Role of His Manner of Writing

Author: David Bolotin

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791435526

Category: Philosophy

Page: 156

View: 7557

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Argues that Aristotle's writings about the natural world contain a rhetorical surface as well as a philosophic core and shows that Aristotle's genuine views have not been refuted by modern science and still deserve serious attention.

Philosophy Between the Lines

The Lost History of Esoteric Writing

Author: Arthur M. Melzer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226479170

Category: Philosophy

Page: 471

View: 9849

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Philosophical esotericism—the practice of communicating one’s unorthodox thoughts “between the lines”—was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others’. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought. Arthur M. Melzer serves as our deeply knowledgeable guide in this capacious and engaging history of philosophical esotericism. Walking readers through both an ancient (Plato) and a modern (Machiavelli) esoteric work, he explains what esotericism is—and is not. It relies not on secret codes, but simply on a more intensive use of familiar rhetorical techniques like metaphor, irony, and insinuation. Melzer explores the various motives that led thinkers in different times and places to engage in this strange practice, while also exploring the motives that lead more recent thinkers not only to dislike and avoid this practice but to deny its very existence. In the book’s final section, “A Beginner’s Guide to Esoteric Reading,” Melzer turns to how we might once again cultivate the long-forgotten art of reading esoteric works. Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings—philosophical, but also theological, political, and literary—were composed prior to the nineteenth century.

Xenophon's Socrates

Author: Leo Strauss

Publisher: St Augustine PressInc

ISBN: 9781587319655

Category: Philosophy

Page: 181

View: 4953

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Relying exclusively on the texts, Professor Strauss analyzes and compares every seemingly casual utterance as well as the more formal statements to recover the true Socrates and to determine the character of political philosophy. He investigates its origins, possibilities, and intention against the nonphilosophical background from which it emerged.

After Leo Strauss

New Directions in Platonic Political Philosophy

Author: Tucker Landy

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438451652

Category: Philosophy

Page: 237

View: 4022

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Proposes a post-Straussian reading of Plato to advance a reconciliation of ancient and modern theories of natural right. Few thinkers of the twentieth century studied the fundamental questions of ethics and politics, or penetrated further into the philosophical sources of the moral relativism of our times, more deeply than Leo Strauss. After Leo Strauss is not yet another attempt to explicate, critique, or defend Strauss. Instead, it encourages us to look in new directions, and to escape certain aspects of Strauss’s powerful influence, in order to revisit classic texts and make our own judgments about what those texts might mean. Tucker Landy proposes a post-Straussian reading of the Platonic dialogues that is non-esoteric yet respectful of their subtle dramatic-pedagogic form and urges us, in a spirit of Socratic humility, to reexamine ancient and modern theories of natural right to seek possible grounds for reconciliation between them. Landy puts forth a Socratic theory of democratic liberalism as an example of such reconciliation. “This book is a breath of fresh air for people like me, who were influenced by Strauss early in their philosophic careers but who refuse to dismiss metaphysics and cosmology, who are wary of the potentially narrowing effects of ‘political philosophy,’ and who are open, in their philosophical eros, to the possible truth of revelation and the wisdom of the poets. Tucker Landy gives us a new beginning—a Socrates made young and beautiful.” — Peter Kalkavage, author of The Logic of Desire: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Politics and the Occult

The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen

Author: Gary Lachman

Publisher: Quest Books

ISBN: 0835630080

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 9382

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The gritty business of politics is not something we usually associate with the occult. But esoteric beliefs have influenced the destiny of nations since the time of ancient Egypt and China, when decisions of state were based on portents and astrology, to today, when presidents and prime ministers privately consult self-proclaimed seers. Politics and the Occult offers a lively history of this enduring phenomenon. Author and cultural pundit Gary Lachman provocativly questions whether the separation of church and state so dear to modern political philosophy should be maintained. A few of his fascinating topics include the fate of the Knights Templar and the medieval Gnostic Cathars, the occult roots of America and the French Revolution in Freemasonry, Gurdjieff and the swastika, Soviet interest in UFOs, the CIA and LSD, the Age of Aquarius, the millenarian politics that inform the struggle with Islamic terrorism, fundamentalism, and more.

Forbidden Religion

Suppressed Heresies of the West

Author: J. Douglas Kenyon

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1591439914

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 336

View: 4659

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Reveals the thread that unites the spiritual paths that have opposed orthodox religion over the centuries and the challenge they provide to the status quo • Contains 40 essays by 18 key investigators of heresies and suppressed spiritual traditions, including Steven Sora, Ian Lawton, Jeff Nisbet, P.M.H. Atwater, John Chambers, and Vincent Bridges • Edited by Atlantis Rising publisher, J. Douglas Kenyon Following the model of his bestselling Forbidden History, J. Douglas Kenyon has assembled from his bi-monthly journal Atlantis Rising material that explores the hidden path of the religions banned by the orthodox Church--from the time before Christ when the foundations of Christianity were being laid to the tumultuous times of the Cathars and Templars and the Masons of the New World. Revealed in this investigation of the roots of Western faith are the intimate ties of ancient Egyptian religion to Christianity, the true identities of the three magi, the link forged by the Templars between early Christianity and the Masons, and how these hidden religious currents still influence the modern world. This book serves as a compelling introduction to the true history of the heretical religious traditions that played as vital a role in society as the established faiths that continuously tried to suppress them. Born in the same religious ferment that gave birth to Christianity, these spiritual paths survived in the “heresies” of the Middle Ages, and in the theories of the great Renaissance thinkers and their successors, such as Isaac Newton and Giordano Bruno. Brought to the New World by the Masons who inspired the American Revolution, the influence of these forbidden religions can be still found today in “The Star Spangled Banner” and in such Masonic symbols as the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill.

Hidden Wisdom

The Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition

Author: Tim Wallace-Murphy

Publisher: Red Wheel Weiser

ISBN: 9781934708590

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 304

View: 6900

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From Egyptian mythology to Jewish mysticism, Rome and Greece to the druids and the gnostics, Tim Wallace-Murphy exposes a fascinating lineage of hidden mysteries and secret societies, continuing through the Templars, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons to our modern visionaries. This hidden stream of spirituality and that of sacred knowledge are inseparably entwined to form the single most important continuous strand in the entire Western esoteric tradition. This tradition exerted a seminal influence on the thinking of the builders of the great cathedrals; leading teachers in ecclesiastical schools; philosophers; playwrights; poets such as Shakespeare, Goethe, Blake, and W. B. Yeats; and on artists and Renaissance giants such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. It is also the root from which sprang alchemy and modern science. Now, as more people are looking to find information on the alternatives to dominant religions and dogmas that have told us what to think and how to behave, as faith has been questioned by religious scandals, economic meltdowns, and an increasingly sick planet Earth, Wallace-Murphy reveals the secrets of the masters, including invaluable spiritual insights into everyday life that have been hidden throughout the ages. He shows us who kept this spiritual tradition alive despite appalling persecution, so that we in the twenty-first century might benefit from its accumulated fruits and ennoble our lives. Hidden Wisdom will be of immense interest to readers of the number one bestseller The Lost Symbol as it explains much of Dan Brown's focus on the ancient mysteries.

The Art of Freedom: Teaching the Humanities to the Poor

Author: Earl Shorris

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393081273

Category: Education

Page: 302

View: 5209

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A book describing the author's astonishing success in bringing the study of the humanities to poor people in many cultures through The Clemente Course in the Humanities, work for which he was awarded a National Medal in the Humanities by President Clinton. It shows, often through lively anecdote, the crucial difference that understanding ones own culture and history makes in improving and empowering poor people. The last chapter of the book will describe the introduction, this year, of the CCH into a major US public school system, as a pilot program in one of the poorest black high schools in Chicago.

Leo Strauss on Maimonides

The Complete Writings

Author: Leo Strauss

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226776794

Category: Philosophy

Page: 768

View: 2077

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Leo Strauss is widely recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Maimonides. His studies of the medieval Jewish philosopher led to his rediscovery of esotericism and deepened his sense that the tension between reason and revelation was central to modern political thought. His writings throughout the twentieth century were chiefly responsible for restoring Maimonides as a philosophical thinker of the first rank. Yet, to appreciate the extent of Strauss’s contribution to the scholarship on Maimonides, one has traditionally had to seek out essays he published separately spanning almost fifty years. With Leo Strauss on Maimonides, Kenneth Hart Green presents for the first time a comprehensive, annotated collection of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides, comprising sixteen essays, three of which appear in English for the first time. Green has also provided careful translations of materials that had originally been quoted in Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, German, and French; written an informative introduction highlighting the original contributions found in each essay; and brought references to out-of-print editions fully up to date. The result will become the standard edition of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides.

Modernity and what Has Been Lost

Considerations on the Legacy of Leo Strauss

Author: Pawel Armada,Arkadiusz Górnisiewicz

Publisher: St Augustine PressInc

ISBN: 9781587315114

Category: Philosophy

Page: 181

View: 6687

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"Modernity and What Has Been Lost comes out of a conference held at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, on June 4-5, 2009 that sought to identify Leo Strauss's intellectual background in re: the repudiation of a modern idea of homogenous, universal state (considered as an illegitimate synthesis of Jerusalem and Athens, i.e., the claims of Reason and Revelation). The world we live in, molded by science and historical relativism, may be described as hostile to human dignity or perfection, or abhorrent to those who love the search for wisdom. Straussian teaching consisted in the steady effort to reopen "the quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns," and refers to the esoteric way of writing practiced by the most profound thinkers of the past which has been apparently forgotten in the last three centuries. Strauss binds the concept of natural right with the question of maintenance of conditions for philosophizing, and it probably seems to him that such defense of philosophy is the highest taskin our times. However, one must be well aware that philosophizing always means a perilous way of life. Indeed, it may be destructive of the city (polis) itself as far as the city exists due to some crucial beliefs the philosopher might put in doubt. Reflecting on those issues, Strauss engaged in several highly important debates with his contemporaries, in an open way with, e.g., Carl Schmitt, Karl Löwith and Alexandre Kojève, and more tacitly with Martin Heidegger"--Provided by publisher.

Secret Body

Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions

Author: Jeffrey J. Kripal

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022612682X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 448

View: 9635

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This latest work by the renowned historian of religions Jeffrey Kripal crystallizes his twenty-five years of work on two aspects of the contemporary study of religion: the erotic expression of mystical experience and the rise of the paranormal in American culture. Combining elements of memoir, manifesto, and anthology (a Kripal Reader, as it were), Secret Body reveals Kripal's oeuvre not as a series of disconnected books but as a dynamic corpus with the potential to renew and reshape the study of religion. Kripal explains how this oeuvre came about with his trademark humor and honesty, answers his censors and critics, and lays the foundation for a future theory of religion grounded in the cosmic nature of consciousness as such. No one interested in the history of religion and the erotic dimension of mysticism can afford to overlook Kripal's latest, his definitive intellectual self-portrait.

Occult Paris

The Lost Magic of the Belle Époque

Author: Tobias Churton

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1620555468

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 8993

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How fin-de-siècle Paris became the locus for the most intense revival of magical practices and doctrines since the Renaissance • Examines the remarkable lives of occult practitioners Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Jules Doinel, and others • Reveals how occult activity deeply influenced many well-known cultural movements, such as Symbolism, the Decadents, modern music, and the “psychedelic 60s” During Paris’s Belle Époque (1871-1914), many cultural movements and artistic styles flourished--Symbolism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, the Decadents--all of which profoundly shaped modern culture. Inseparable from this cultural advancement was the explosion of occult activity taking place in the City of Light at the same time. Exploring the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque, Tobias Churton shows how a wide variety of Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Martinists, Freemasons, Gnostics, and neo-Cathars called fin-de-siècle Paris home. He examines the precise interplay of occultists Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, and founder of the modern Gnostic Church Jules Doinel, along with lesser known figures such as Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Paul Sédir, Charles Barlet, Edmond Bailly, Albert Jounet, Abbé Lacuria, and Lady Caithness. He reveals how the work of many masters of modern culture such as composers Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, writers Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire, and painters Georges Seurat and Alphonse Osbert bear signs of immersion in the esoteric circles that were thriving in Paris at the time. The author demonstrates how the creative hermetic ferment that animated the City of Light in the decades leading up to World War I remains an enduring presence and powerful influence today. Where, he asks, would Aleister Crowley and all the magicians of today be without the Parisian source of so much creativity in this field? Conveying the living energy of Paris in this richly artistic period of history, Churton brings into full perspective the characters, personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.

The Dwellings of the Philosophers

Author: Fulcanelli (pseud.)

Publisher: Archive Press & Communications

ISBN: 9780963521156

Category: Art

Page: 550

View: 3837

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The true identity of this Alchemical Adept has never been publicly discovered but there are few who would not recognize his works as the most significant contribution to the Great Art in more than 100 years. The author displays an immense knowledge of the practices of Alchemy and the Alchemists of the Middle Ages and for the first time makes clear the differences between Chemistry, Spagyrics, Archemy, and Alchemy. For many, the most amazing revelation of the book will be the author's review and exhaustive interpretation of the extensive statuary, bas relief, and other artistic devices built into the homes of numerous Medieval Alchemists. These works of art have for centuries openly revealed the secrets of Alchemy to all who have the eyes to see. This long awaited translation from the original French will be of immense benefit to those who seek to understand Alchemy for what it truly is -- the art and science of Creation and Transformation of physical form through the agency of Man.

Against the Modern World

Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century

Author: Mark Sedgwick

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195396014

Category: Religion

Page: 369

View: 9188

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Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, an important yet surprisingly little-known twentieth-century anti-modern movement. Comprising a number of often secret but sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and the development of the field of religious studies in the United States, touching the lives of many individuals. French writer Rene Guenon rejected modernity as a dark age and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy - the central truths behind all the major world religions. Guenon stressed the urgent need for the West's remaining spiritual and intellectual elite to find personal and collective salvation in the surviving vestiges of ancient religious traditions. A number of disenchanted intellectuals responded to his call. In Europe, America, and the Islamic world, Traditionalists founded institutes, Sufi brotherhoods, Masonic lodges, and secret societies. Some attempted unsuccessfully to guide Fascism and Nazism along Traditionalist lines; others later participated in political terror in Italy. Traditionalist ideas were the ideological cement for the alliance of anti-democratic forces in post-Soviet Russia, and in the Islamic world entered the debate about the relationship between Islam and modernity. Although its appeal in the West was ultimately limited, Traditionalism has wielded enormous influence in religious studies, through the work of such Traditionalists as Ananda Coomaraswamy, Huston Smith, Mircea Eliade, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy

Author: Michael P. Zuckert,Catherine H. Zuckert

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022613587X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 416

View: 6776

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Leo Strauss and his alleged political influence regarding the Iraq War have in recent years been the subject of significant media attention, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.Time magazine even called him “one of the most influential men in American politics.” With The Truth about Leo Strauss, Michael and Catherine Zuckert challenged the many claims and speculations about this notoriously complex thinker. Now, with Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy, they turn their attention to a searching and more comprehensive interpretation of Strauss’s thought as a whole, using the many manifestations of the “problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone. For Strauss, political philosophy presented a “problem” to which there have been a variety of solutions proposed over the course of Western history. Strauss’s work, they show, revolved around recovering—and restoring—political philosophy to its original Socratic form. Since positivism and historicism represented two intellectual currents that undermined the possibility of a Socratic political philosophy, the first part of the book is devoted to Strauss’s critique of these two positions. Then, the authors explore Strauss’s interpretation of the history of philosophy and both ancient and modern canonical political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. Strauss’s often-unconventional readings of these philosophers, they argue, pointed to solutions to the problem of political philosophy. Finally, the authors examine Strauss’s thought in the context of the twentieth century, when his chief interlocutors were Schmitt, Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche. The most penetrating and capacious treatment of the political philosophy of this complex and often misunderstood thinker, from his early years to his last works, Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy reveals Strauss’s writings as an attempt to show that the distinctive characteristics of ancient and modern thought derive from different modes of solving the problem of political philosophy and reveal why he considered the ancient solution both philosophically and politically superior.

Revelation

Author: Will Self

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 0857861018

Category: Bibles

Page: 64

View: 8060

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The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.