Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell: Religious Terror as Memory from the Puritans to Stephen King

By Edward J. Ingebretsen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE

Writing the Unholy:
Chanting the God Demonic

... all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.

—EDWARDS, "SINNERS" 1

The principal appeal of the high Gothic lies in its epistemology and moral ambiguity. It makes us think: How much do we know about reality, about life and death, about the universe and God, about human personality and motivation, and about the course of our own destiny?2

... The Scripture is written as we are told, For our Comfort; but it is quoted by the Devil, for our Terror.

-MATHER, WONDERS


Introduction

... more horrid even from the very resemblance ...

-THE CREATURE TO VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN

Previously I have tried to show how the rhetoric of divinity signifies the outer reach of the human, and that divinity itself was impermissible in history except as monstrum. Its eruption in the mundane order was a complex and dark moment-a judgment upon

-77-

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