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Anatomyzing Divinity: Studies in Science, Esotericism and Political Theology Paperback – July 1, 2011
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About the Author
James L. Kelley is the author of A Realism of Glory. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
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As Anatomyzing demonstrates, the alchemical/platonic worldview that originated in late antiquity found new life with the emergence of Western Christianity, this influence being evinced in the new forms of "Christian" theology and polity that emerged after the rise of Frankish Civilization in Europe. Striking examples of this alchemical Christian culture include  the Frankish beliefs regarding the dual nature of the body (and thus the person!) of their king, Philip the Fair being the epitome of this "king's two bodies" theme (covered in section 2 of Kelley's book); and also  the exaltation of reason as a means of being united to God in Leibniz's mechanical philosophy (this rationalistic road to the divine being the esoteric motivation behind Leibniz's development of the binary code). Interestingly,  seems to have stemmed from , both being developments from St. Augustine's unique formulation of the Trinity. Not only does Augustine's Trinitarian theology turn out to have been the basis of Western Christian theology; the Bishop of Hippo's Trinity seems to have been itself based upon the alchemical/platonic strands of thought mentioned earlier. I must also point out that the book distinguishes between Western Augustinian Trinity, and the earlier formulation of the Eastern Christian milieu (pre addition of the "Filioque"). Kelley's discussion of the theology that under-girds the addition of the Filioque to the creed (indebted as it is to Farrell's analysis) demonstrates Filioquism's stark similarities to Gnosticism and Platonism.
On the whole, the urgency of Anatomyzing's subject matter becomes quite palpable once one begins to understand the far-reaching implications of Kelley's thesis, which, I readily admit, took me a few months to come to understand. Owing to the material's density and richness, I found myself reading passages three or four times in succession, a practice I learned over the course of my earlier reading of the Mystagogy introduction! I might also add that Anatomyzing is very carefully referenced, all of Mr. Kelley's sources being indicated clearly and presented plainly for all to read, which I like. I must admit that Farrell's Mystagogy introduction is the best point of comparison for anyone who wishes to know what Kelley's book is "like". For anyone who has read Farrell, Anatomyzing's tone and method will seem familiar. However, Kelley pulls of a rare (even untried!) feat in pushing "Farrellian" themes into new areas. In other words, James L. Kelley's Anatomyzing Divinity is a must-read for anyone impressed or intrigued by Farrell's multifaceted work!