This essay argues that John Milton’s Paradise Lost reveals both the limits and dangers of several modes of accommodating God to both angelic and human understanding. Not only does God fail successfully to accommodate himself and his internally efficient decrees during the celestial council, but the Son, who might otherwise serve as an agent of the special accommodation of redemption, also fails to accommodate the Father: the Son’s tendency to disclose several of God’s mysteries subverts the basic concealing-revealing function of accommodation, which otherwise aims to render some of God’s ways palatable to creaturely understanding even while ensuring the ontological and epistemological distance between creatures and God. Milton thus approaches accommodation skeptically, even testing its effectiveness and capaciousness as an exegetical device that might be of use in mimetic poetry.


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pp. 198-228
Launched on MUSE
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