Deity, Discourse, and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Duquesne University Press
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I am genuinely indebted to both the individuals and the institutions that helped to make this work possible. These include Albert C. Labriola and David Loewenstein, to whom I am deeply grateful for their astute and sensitive readings of my manuscript. To the guiding hands of Susan Wadsworth-Booth ...
NOTES ON CITATIONS
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I suppose the moral here is that one can have a deep knowledge of both theological discourse and poetic discourse and still fail to see how the one may overlap with the other. I wish to explore both forms of discourse, to understand how one shades into the next, and, in the process, reestablish the relationship between each. Such an enterprise is of necessity made more complex by the ...
Part I: The Discourse of Theology
ONE. Doctrinal and Discursive Contexts
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As we know from past experience, that method has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.1 Rather than approaching the treatise simply (and I might add, reductively) as a gloss, I wish to address the treatise on its own terms to see how its portrayal of God functions and to determine how that portrayal is to be understood. To my knowledge, an analysis of this sort has never ...
TWO. The Ontological Imperative
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The chapter is essentially divisible into three sections: (1) concerning the existence of God; (2) concerning the knowledge of God; and (3) concerning the names and attributes of God. One might suggest that the chapter moves from the ontological to the epistemological to the phenomenological modes by means of which God is manifested ...
THREE. The Signatures of Deity
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With an awareness of the shortcomings to which any systematic theology is liable, the chapter titled “De Deo” structures its argument according to what I have called the ontological, epistemological, and phenomenological modes of discourse. These involve the existence of God, the knowledge of God, and the names and attributes of God. Having addressed the ontological ...
Part II: The Poetics of Deity
FOUR. The Theopathetic Deity
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That is, in an understanding of the delineation of God as a character in his own poem, one appreciates the correspondences that can be drawn between the work of the poet and the work of the exegete. At the same time, the poetic representation of God must be understood on its own terms, which may or may not ...
FIVE. The Odium Dei
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The most crucial theme, Shawcross asserts, is love. “We see it in the providence of God which the poem asserts, in the love of the Son for God the Father and thus for man, and in the realization of Adam in Book 12, which thus justifies God’s ways. By contrast, we see the hate of Satan and its generation of revolt, revenge, and deceit. Love leads to eternal life; hate, ...
SIX. “Our Living Dread”
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... through which one acquires an increasingly more enlightened understanding of how God’s treatment of every man reflects his treatment of Samson. As a result of this understanding, one gains a freer and more rational conception of the nature of God. The movement toward God is the movement toward ...
Part III: The Heresies of Godhead
SEVEN. The Socinian Imperative
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In what appears to be an ongoing tendency in modern criticism, scholars are ever more inclined to align Milton with the various heresies that emerged with renewed vigor during the revolutionary decades of the seventeenth century. Most recently, the essays in Stephen B. Dobranski and John Rumrich’s collection ...
EIGHT. Arianism and Godhead
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that the debate over Milton’s beliefs regarding the nature of the Trinity is as lively now as it has been for well over two centuries. In his essay on Milton’s putative Arianism, John P. Rumrich argues that this debate goes back at least as far as Jonathan Richardson’s defense ...
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Page Count: 359
Publication Year: 2006