Francis Bacon’s God By Stephen A. McKnight

90210

New Member
https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/francis-bacons-god

The entire essay is too long to post.

In 1968 Howard B. White published Peace among the Willows, the first book-length analysis of Bacon’s “New Atlantis.” White, a political theorist who regards Bacon as a principal shaper of modern political ideas, maintains that it is this utopian work and not one of Bacon’s philosophical treatises that provides the fullest statement of Bacon’s political theory. White is especially interested in what he regards as Bacon’s secularization of politics and glorification of the power of science to serve the interests of the secular state. In developing his argument, White maintains that “New Atlantis” must be read with meticulous care in order to understand Bacon’s complex interweaving and transformation of political iconography, ancient history and fables, religious symbols, scientific methodologies, and pseudo-scientific concepts. White devotes considerable attention to Bacon’s use of religious themes and argues that he manipulates them in order to subvert Christian ideas and transform them into a culturally acceptable justification for a preoccupation with luxury and materialism. According to White, Bacon’s purpose is to transform the human quest from the search for the “heavenly city” to the creation of the well-governed country, and to change the philosophical quest from an effort to understand God, God’s Creation, and humanity’s place in it to a pursuit to understand what humans can make of themselves.

White’s work has been highly influential and augmented more recently by another political philosopher, Jerry Weinberger. Weinberger also argues that Bacon’s utopia provides a primary source for understanding the transitional phase from early modern political ideas to those of the modern age, and he maintains that Bacon manipulates religious language and concepts to conceal his secular agenda. Recently, considerable attention to Bacon’s “New Atlantis” has also come from the new historical criticism. Studies by Charles Whitney, Amy Boesky, and others have analyzed utopian literature as a primary source for understanding the “founding fictions” and political ideologies underpinning nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, and overseas expansion. Like White and Weinberger, many cultural historians treat Bacon’s manipulation of religious ideas as a way of providing cultural authority for his political agenda. Marina Leslie, for example, asserts that Bacon inverts the spiritual and material worlds, and claims that Bacon transforms spiritual salvation into material well-being accomplished by humans and not by God. David Innes, a theologian influenced by White, contends that Bacon is responsible for transmuting Christian hope for spiritual salvation into a secular dream of material comfort and argues that the Christianity of Bensalem is actually a “fundamental assault upon, transformation of and ultimate displacement of Christianity.” Denise Albanese asserts that Bensalemite Christianity “first serves as yet another instance of reverse colonialism, with the natives’ conversion already an accomplished fact” and as the “code for an intellectual imperialism.”

This essay contends that it is a misunderstanding and distortion to view Bacon’s use of religious language and concepts as disingenuous and manipulative. It demonstrates that Bacon’s program of utopian reform, as presented in “New Atlantis,” is grounded in genuinely and deeply felt religious convictions, which serve as the foundation for his program of political and social prosperity through the advancement of learning.

 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Thx for this post 90210. What are your feelings about Bacon ... and McKnight's treatment of him?

I just finished reading Einstein's God, by Krista Tippett, which I think might go well with such study of Bacon and his New Atlantis. I happen to generally concur with the way most of the interviewees think about Science and whatever the divine actually is. Which is NOT from the literal reading of the Bible.

Without being read-up on the critics of White and Bacon, from what you have posted makes it appear to me that the critics of Bacon appear to be projecting their a priori biases onto Bacon and Bacon's interpretation. Fortunately(?) my more recent research into apocalyptic eschatology, and what little attention that I had paid to the topic prior. I was raised in a Preterist End Times church, the 'liberal' Presbyterian (as opposed to the Old School literalist version) Church, thus a future End Times never seemed possible, till NOW.

For one thing the language of the Book of Revelation makes it possible to to see the "second resurrection" of the faithful to take place on this planet. That is, when the evil-doers have been cleansed from it by the returning Christ. Else it makes little sense for Christ to return from the Heavens to cleanse the Earth, if the Earth is not going to be the literal home of those that transcend the End Times. Of course, such speculation is precisely why the Hokey Mother Church did not want laymen to read and interpret the Bible. Or, at least that's what they claim. I have a much more cynical and Machiavellian view about what they really intended.

That is, if some people, at least, don't follow such memes (no matter how they are led to them) then it is much less likely to motivate the same to undertake hardships and uncertainty in conquering and colonizing new lands, dispossessing those who had the temerity to squat on God's land free of rent. This is the motivation for why I believe that the entire Protestant milieu was contrived, where one can see such as the Calvinists and the then new Jesuits being cheered on at the same time, by the same people. "Same as it ever was."
 

90210

New Member
"What are your feelings about Bacon ... and McKnight's treatment of him?"
Right now I don't have any feelings or opinions on McKnights treatment. What I am doing is trying to see what others think or feel and then follow up with some "fleshing out" of the opinions of Bacon and his philosophy.

"Like White and Weinberger, many cultural historians treat Bacon’s manipulation of religious ideas as a way of providing cultural authority for his political agenda." - This seems sound

" Denise Albanese asserts that Bensalemite Christianity “first serves as yet another instance of reverse colonialism, with the natives’ conversion already an accomplished fact” and as the “code for an intellectual imperialism.”- To be honest I don't even understand this ladies expression.

"David Innes, a theologian influenced by White, contends that Bacon is responsible for transmuting Christian hope for spiritual salvation into a secular dream of material comfort and argues that the Christianity of Bensalem is actually a “fundamental assault upon, transformation of and ultimate displacement of Christianity.” - This seems sound

"This essay contends that it is a misunderstanding and distortion to view Bacon’s use of religious language and concepts as disingenuous and manipulative. It demonstrates that Bacon’s program of utopian reform, as presented in “New Atlantis,” is grounded in genuinely and deeply felt religious convictions, which serve as the foundation for his program of political and social prosperity through the advancement of learning."- Not sure I agree with this at all.

For New Atlantis to have come to life, 'people' would have to be involved so I make the assumption that the "agents of Atlantis" are/were the first Protestant (Umbrella term) influences in America.
So I have started a list of Mayflower preachers, 'Divines', and the company which they kept meaning for example when Thomas Hooker came over he had apx 200 in his 'company' that I assume were freemen or eventually had an opportunity to make allegiance with the Freeman Oath OR they were indentured servants. Of the folks who came over with Hooker, the presidential Adams family and the Spencer/Huxley roots in America were under his wing among others. The pattern I find is the preachers and their freeman "company" go on to be the most influential (my opinion so far) humans is America's history going forward. One can argue that 'everybody is related to everybody' and going back 10 generations there are thousands of grandparents behind you, at least when looking at the founders and planters of the nation, but knowing "Blue Bloods" intermarry often (first cousin seems to be OK) and also reading a (going from memory but numbers are sound) quote from Jared Huxley..."of the first 22,000 people to settle between 1630 and 1691, only 2000 were freemen" I see a very distinct line of nepotism that stays together going backward and forward through history. To me it looks like the family tree of America in general has a trunk of "Blue Bloods" with red blooded Americans as branches and all the leaves and fruits laying on the ground are the rest of the average folk.

Another distinct feature I notice is a "Baconian" / Rosicrucian / Royal Society pattern.
For example if you look at a string of the Mather family impacts you can see:
Cotton Mather, scientist/religious figure and a model of irrational Christianity who influenced Yale as a model of a college for "dissenters" progress to
Gen Frederick Mather one of the first 3 founders of Scull and Bones, Yale,(home of Conflict thesis battle between Religion and science) a model of German Rationalism progress to
Kirtley Mather yet another public spectacle (Scopes Monkey Trial) with a battle between religion and science progress to
John C. Mather who helped cement the "Big Bang Theory"
To my simple mind that is quite a progression.

Rev Pierpont goes on to JP Morgan strain.
Rev John Robinson goes onto be featured on the first paper money 10,000$ bill which had Salmon Chase on the front. Some of Robinson's descendants include the Bush family.
They all have some sort of very influential reverberation.
This is what I am doing, genealogy of the first preachers/"divines" who influence government just as much as theology (Congregationalism the combo?) and produce the most influential institutions like colleges and churches and different strains of Christianity.

There are actual Bacon descendants peppered in there too like Bartholomew Gosnold who twice landed at Jamestown I think in 1602 and 1607.
There is a Bacon family member in Scull and Bones class of 1837 I believe.

With out dissecting to much, is Bensalem Salem Mass? How many conversions has Salem had? From native to WASP on to the "Devils playground"?
The apostle Bartholomew " The letter was from the apostle Bartholomew, who stated that he had received a vision in which God instructed him “to commit the ark to the floods of the sea.” When the ark reached its appointed destination, the people of that land would receive “salvation and peace and goodwill from the Father and from the Lord Jesus.”- Seems like a good fit for Barholemw Gosnold his relative and primary settler of Jamestown.

This is a taste of the "flesh".

I admit this could be a waste of time but I find all the very tight nit relations and future influence amazing.

I am not really trying to sort out the philosophy and interpretations of Bacon's philosophy but see who, what, where, when and that figure out why... Why is so much Freemason myth (Manly P. Hall, Rosecurucian) veiled around this when you can literally flesh it out?

"Fortunately(?) my more recent research into apocalyptic eschatology, and what little attention that I had paid to the topic prior." -your quote...
This has come up organically in my reading. I see a Mason link in the pattern with Ezra, the name for the scribe of the Royal Arch Masons. Prophecy of Ezra mentions a three headed eagle (Ortho, Catho, Proto?) and is a Jewish End times prophecy. I am tracking down a book called 'Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch: Reconstruction after the Fall' by Mathias Henze. I wonder if the veiled Freemason clues and links to Protestant strains of end times churches are related. Are the Protestants the 3rd eagle head? Is this whole thing a Mason manipulation to make sure they can fulfill these prophecies accurately?

Was the religion schism aroundHenry 8 through Queen Liz a schism or an imposed dialectic is another question I seek to answer.

I have no answers only questions, but I do have my focus.

90210
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
"Like White and Weinberger, many cultural historians treat Bacon’s manipulation of religious ideas as a way of providing cultural authority for his political agenda." - This seems sound
I can agree with this as well, especially from the standpoint that we Postflavians and others similar minded consider practically all Religions period as "providing cultural authority for" whatever respective "political agenda." I'm not sure that there are any religions that don't claim some (or more) authority over temporal human activity while on Earth.

" Denise Albanese asserts that Bensalemite Christianity “first serves as yet another instance of reverse colonialism, with the natives’ conversion already an accomplished fact” and as the “code for an intellectual imperialism.”- To be honest I don't even understand this ladies expression.
I second your opinion.

In regards to the natives, of such as Central America, I am always reminded of the fact that the early Catholic priests, upon examination of basic structure of the native religions found them to be embarrassingly similar to Christianity. And I have always wondered if this is one reason they had little qualms about the Spanish and Portuguese inflicting such bloodshed and slavery upon them, not to ignore what was done by Protestants in North America and elsewhere.

"David Innes, a theologian influenced by White, contends that Bacon is responsible for transmuting Christian hope for spiritual salvation into a secular dream of material comfort and argues that the Christianity of Bensalem is actually a “fundamental assault upon, transformation of and ultimate displacement of Christianity.” - This seems sound
I think you should expand upon this, as this sounds extremely dubious to me. If so, then it is still little different than the class layers of traditional Christianity, i.e. the feudal system imposed upon Europe that modeled the description of Genesis 47. In other words, material comfort for the "worthy" elites, the gens, and back-breaking labor for the serfs. However, at least the European serfs got a 50% rent break over that of the Egyptians who had to pay their 'lords' 20%.

"This essay contends that it is a misunderstanding and distortion to view Bacon’s use of religious language and concepts as disingenuous and manipulative. It demonstrates that Bacon’s program of utopian reform, as presented in “New Atlantis,” is grounded in genuinely and deeply felt religious convictions, which serve as the foundation for his program of political and social prosperity through the advancement of learning."- Not sure I agree with this at all.
OK, why? Do you have a general problem with the "advancement of learning", social prosperity, or ... specifically what? How would you compare Bacon's ideas to Thomas Aquinas's, of whom the latter advanced a rather balanced ( mmm ... liberal) approach to economics as far as I can tell?

This is a taste of the "flesh".

I admit this could be a waste of time but I find all the very tight nit relations and future influence amazing.
I think this is a very interesting line of inquiry. That said, I would caution you to distinguish that there has always been an 'underground' stream of esoteric beliefs than ran through 'Christian' society long before the Reformation. Such has always been the case, even before Christianity and Judaism. The difference usually breaks down between literalism (aka fundamentalism) for the lower classes versus metaphorical and other approaches for the more educated.

"Fortunately(?) my more recent research into apocalyptic eschatology, and what little attention that I had paid to the topic prior." -your quote...
This has come up organically in my reading. I see a Mason link in the pattern with Ezra, the name for the scribe of the Royal Arch Masons. Prophecy of Ezra mentions a three headed eagle (Ortho, Catho, Proto?) and is a Jewish End times prophecy. I am tracking down a book called 'Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch: Reconstruction after the Fall' by Mathias Henze. I wonder if the veiled Freemason clues and links to Protestant strains of end times churches are related. Are the Protestants the 3rd eagle head? Is this whole thing a Mason manipulation to make sure they can fulfill these prophecies accurately?
As far as I know, all the so-called Protestant High Churches (former European state churches) today, at least, are generally Preterist in their eschatology, versus the Low Church Evangelicals and Pentecostals who adopted Futurist eschatology from the Jesuits. The latter who introduced Futurism and Preterism into Catholic theology at the very same time. This as a clever ploy, at least on the surface, to counter widespread Protestant claims that the papacy was the Antichrist -- the Whore of Babylon, as logically the papacy could not be the Antichrist if the End Times were both before Constantine, at least, and after the then present time.

I am like the late Tupper Saussy and his Rulers of Evil in that the Freemasons are run by the Black Pope, aka Papa Nero.

Was the religion schism aroundHenry 8 through Queen Liz a schism or an imposed dialectic is another question I seek to answer.
It was an imposed dialectic, however, it was meant to mitigate the too rapid spread of independent strains of Protestantism. Henry VIII was just previously named by the papacy as a Defender of the (Catholic) Faith. The divorce with Catherine, the sister of the Holy Roman Emperor, was otherwise insane politically. And for all that drama he still ended up with a daughter succeeding him.

So what do you think of the announcement (in Spanish) of the Roman Church on 9/25/2015, in Madison Square Garden, that the new savior was coming, just after Francis had stopped at the Bottomless Pit, the 9/11 Memorial Fountain, and the precise and detailed heavenly enactment of Revelation 12 (the savior - Jupiter is born after spending 9 months in the belly of the Virgin - Virgo) on September 23, 2017? The precise and detailed alignment has not been made in over 2,000 years, at least. Apocalypse How, Part 1.

In your examination of the Reformation and eschatology, you should also take into account the thoughts of the Franciscans: https://postflaviana.org/community/index.php?threads/dueling-michelangelo-codes.2009/

It seems that the Sistine chapel was a reconstruction of the Jerusalem Temple, in their New Jerusalem, Rome. And these same Franciscan popes launched the Catholic, at least, Conquest of the New World, using the OT Conquest as their model.

As I have also discussed, the original OG OT Conquest was originated by the 18th and 19th Dynasty Egyptians, who synthetically created Judaism, their plausible deniability front. Judah serves Ephraim, .... the Christian Bible tells me so.

Regards, r
 
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