Blake’s disagreements with the system of the Royal Academy was greatly influenced by his mother, who was before influenced by Zinzendorf, bishop of the Moravian Church. Zinzendorf strongly advocated a healthy mother-child relationship and Blake later incorporates themes of a mother-child relationship in many of his works. Zinzendorf’s childhood of being sent away to boarding school and instructed by puritanical pedants took part in this concept that “mother was the best teacher for a young child” (Schuchard 89).

The obsession with women dealt with their anatomical features, specifically, the breasts, which is symbolic of not only nursing a child, but also the passing of knowledge to child. The “Moravians advocated maternal breast feeding rather than farming infants out to wet nurses” because “the mother’s “school” for her infant took on a spiritualerotic connotation, which was vividly expressed in hymns for the embryo and suckling choirs” (89). This is the supposedly more natural form of education.

Blake in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell describes his experience in a printing house in Hell. He witnesses and describes the process of book printing through images of creatures molding rubble together. He says, “There they were reciev’d by Men who occupied the sixth chamber and took the forms of books & were arranged in libraries” (Blake 76). Both Blake and Zinzendorf saw institutional training as artificial and evil. There is no definitive answers to Blake’s Christianity because priesthood and the church are their own forms of institution. Blake, as a Moravian, sees the contradictions within Moravian itself. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell points to Zinzendorf and calls him out for this reason. Institutions such as the Royal Academy are:

The Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence and now seem to live in it in chains, are in truth, the causes of its life & the sources of all activity, but the chains are the cunning of the weak and tame minds, which have the power to resist energy, according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong in cunning” (76).

Is the priest, the church, and/or religion members of these Giants that Blake has mentioned above?

-Van Vang