Whereas in the typical ontology of revelation of the Abrahamic religious cultures a transcendent agency reveals a veiled dimension of reality to the immanent receivers of revelation, metaphysical painters, as well as other post–modern artists, voice an ‘expansion of the domain of revelation’ by proposing an alternative ontology: revelation is not any more a communication bestowed by a transcendent agency, but a signification discovered by some immanent agents: the artists. They represent themselves as those who, through their works, intuit the veiled dimension of reality and unveil it, or at least signal its presence, to those who receive the works of art. The passage from transcendent to immanent revelation, which post–modern artists evoke after the ‘death of God’, is somehow symmetrical to the transition experienced by Australian Aborigines after the ‘birth of God’, i.e., their contact with the Judeo–Christian onto–theology of revelation. Whereas transcendent revelation was fundamental throughout the history of humanity in emphasizing the value of equality among all human beings and in projecting their existence into the dimension of a universal utopia, ‘immanent revelation’ is no less fundamental in underlining the ‘dignity of differences’ among all human beings and in projecting their existence into the dimension of specific heterotopias. Christianity more than Judaism, by stressing the universality of its transcendent revelation, has often been oblivious of both the dignity of differences and the need for heterotopias, which are both treasured, on the contrary, in spiritual cultures and religious traditions stemming from usually nomadic and non–urban attachment to the specificity of reality. Such obliviousness has been particularly evident in the encounter between the Christian onto–theology of transcendent revelation and immanent revelations around the world: for instance, in the Christianization of the Australian Aborigines’ spiritual culture. Mostly as a result of the Enlightenment’s critique of the concept of transcendent revelation, modern and post–modern philosophers and theologians, as well as post–modern artists, have called for a recovery of immanent ontologies of revelation. The paper exemplifies this trend with reference to the philosophies of revelation of Fichte, Jacobi, and Schelling, and to the theologies of revelation of Berdiaev, Tillich, and Lévinas.
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