Milton and Heresy

Author: Stephen B. Dobranski
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521100933
Release Date: 2009-02-05
Genre: Literary Criticism

It is distinctly paradoxical that John Milton - who opposed infant baptism, supported regicide, defended divorce and approved of polygamy - should be heard as a voice of orthodoxy. Yet modern scholarship has often understated or explained away his heretical opinions. This volume investigates aspects of Milton's works inconsistent with conventional beliefs, whether in terms of seventeenth-century theology or the common assumptions of Milton scholars. Contributors situate Milton and his writings within his specific historical circumstances, paying special attention to Milton's pragmatic position within seventeenth-century religious controversy. The volume's four sections deal with heretical theology, heresy's consequences, heresy and community, and readers of heresy; their common premise is that Milton, as poet, thinker and public servant, eschewed set beliefs and regarded indeterminacy and uncertainty as fundamental to human existence.

Antiformalist Unrevolutionary Illiberal Milton

Author: William Walker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317180333
Release Date: 2016-04-15
Genre: Literary Criticism

On the basis of a close reading of Milton's major published political prose works from 1644 through to the Restoration, William Walker presents the anti-formalist, unrevolutionary, illiberal Milton. Walker shows that Milton placed his faith not so much in particular forms of government as in statesmen he deemed to be virtuous. He reveals Milton's profound aversion to socio-political revolution and his deep commitments to what he took to be orthodox religion. He emphasises that Milton consistently presents himself as a champion not of heterodox religion, but of 'reformation'. He observes how Milton's belief that all men are not equal grounds his support for regimes that had little popular support and that did not provide the same civil liberties to all. And he observes how Milton's powerful commitment to a single religion explains his endorsement of various English regimes that persecuted on grounds of religion. This reading of Milton's political prose thus challenges the current consensus that Milton is an early modern exponent of republicanism, revolution, radicalism, and liberalism. It also provides a fresh account of how the great poet and prose polemicist is related to modern republics that think they have separated church and state.

A New Companion to Milton

Author: Thomas N. Corns
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118827871
Release Date: 2015-12-31
Genre: Literary Criticism

A New Companion to Milton builds on the critically-acclaimed original, bringing alive the diverse and controversial world of contemporary Milton studies while reflecting the very latest advances in research in the field. Comprises 36 powerful readings of Milton's texts and the contexts in which they were created, each written by a leading scholar Retains 28 of the award-winning essays from the first edition, revised and updated to reflect the most recent research Contains a new section exploring Milton's global impact, in China, India, Japan, Korea, in Spanish speaking American and the Arab-speaking world Includes eight completely new full-length essays, each of which engages closely with Milton's poetic oeuvre, and a new chronology which sets Milton's life and work in the context of his age Explores literary production and cultural ideologies, issues of politics, gender and religion, individual Milton texts, and responses to Milton over time

Milton in France

Author: Christophe Tournu
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 3039116045
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Literary Criticism

This volume contains a selection of essays presented at the 8th International Milton Symposium, -Milton, Rights and Liberties-, which was held in Grenoble, France, 7-11 June 2005. It was the first time ever that such a major event was organized in France, hence the volume's title. Moreover, Milton's writings influenced key figures of the French Revolution. The essays presented in this volume were written by emerging as well as confirmed Milton scholars from around the world. Topics range from Romanticism (Milton and Wordsworth) to a psychoanalytic reading of Milton, from the iconography of the garden in "Paradise Lost" to the prosody of "Samson Agonistes," from Derridean readings of Milton to Milton's presence in Brazil and China. Another volume of essays entitled "Milton, Rights and Liberties" was published in 2007."

Heresy Literature and Politics in Early Modern English Culture

Author: David Loewenstein
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107320345
Release Date: 2006-12-21
Genre: Literary Criticism

This interdisciplinary volume of essays brings together a team of leading early modern historians and literary scholars in order to examine the changing conceptions, character, and condemnation of 'heresy' in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Definitions of 'heresy' and 'heretics' were the subject of heated controversies in England from the English Reformation to the end of the seventeenth century. These essays illuminate the significant literary issues involved in both defending and demonising heretical beliefs, including the contested hermeneutic strategies applied to the interpretation of the Bible, and they examine how debates over heresy stimulated the increasing articulation of arguments for religious toleration in England. Offering fresh perspectives on John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and others, this volume should be of interest to all literary, religious and political historians working on early modern English culture.

Heresy and the English Reformation

Author: Georgi Vasilev
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 9780786486670
Release Date: 2014-08-23
Genre: History

Medieval Europe was a hotbed of revolt against religious dogma. Particularly offensive to the established church were the views of the Cathars, whose dualist beliefs Rome condemned as heretical. Through a variety of literary works, this book explores the dualist religious movement which developed as a culture of the masses and took place in Europe between the 12th and 17th centuries. It examines the strong parallels between the Bogomils and Cathars and the religious practices of the British Lollards, extrapolating Lollardy’s spread from eastern to western Europe. Providing numerous text comparisons, the work focuses on a number of authors including John Wycliffe, William Tynsdale, William Langland and John Milton, whose works exhibit the dualist philosophy.

The Heresy of John Milton Calvinist

Author: Grant Horner
Publisher:
ISBN: OCLC:1024317135
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Arminianism--England--History--17th century

I argue that the seventeenth century Puritan poet and polemicist John Milton is not at all the theological Arminian he is nearly universally held to be. In fact he exemplifies the typical theological paradigm held by virtually every English Puritan of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This century of Puritanism has its theological nexus in the Calvinism of Beza as propagated through William Perkins and others. Puritans were Calvinists. They fought what they saw as the various and intermingled pressures of Roman, Laudian, and Arminian forces arrayed against their desire for the complete and biblical reformation of the English church. While the Puritans were certainly not absolutely monolithic, their core theological beliefs about the nature of God, man, sin, and salvation, were deeply and irrefutably Calvinist. Calvinists are soteriological monergists: they argue that God alone is the author of salvation. Man is a fallen, depraved rebel; when one is saved from judgment it is by God's gracious will alone and has nothing to do with the virtue or attitude or future faith of the sinner. Salvation is purely a result of the eternal decree of the deity "from before the foundation of the world" and is irresistible, unconditional, and eternal. The Arminian position, arising in the early seventeenth century and codified in the Remonstrance of 1610, holds that ma cooperates with God in salvation to some extent. Remonstrant theology rejects both the supralapsarian and the sublapsarian views of election and predestination, the doctrine of irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints -- major cornerstones of Calvinist doctrine. Instead, Arminians argue for conditional election based upon God's foreknowledge of future faith through prevenient grace. Salvation is thus synergistic and conditional. Calvinists are faced with the difficulty of explaining the justice of a perfectly good and utterly sovereign God who elects to salvation some but not others, regardless of either merit or foreseen faith. Arminians developed their system to bypass this difficulty and to preserve the character of the deity: God must not be made the unjust author of evil. Milton was clearly a puritan. Why then has he long been considered Arminian? A long list of critics have argued for his Remonstrant theology, and these assertions have gone almost entirely unchallenged since the early nineteenth century. Everyone knows Milton is an Arminian. But what if this understanding of Milton is inaccurate? What if, instead of being that rarest of exceptions -- an Arminian Puritan -- Milton could in fact be shown to be Calvinist? This shift would entail a large-scale reconsideration of virtually everything Milton has written. Milton's thought revolves around how paradise was lost, how it can be regained, and how we are to live in the interim. The most central issue for Milton is theodicy; the question of the existence of evil in a world supposedly controlled by a good deity of unlimited power and knowledge. Theodicy is a particular problem for Calvinists, with their insistence upon God's absolute, eternal sovereignty -- while Arminian thought is itself already a theodical structure, grounded in the contingencies of conditional decrees, divine foreknowledge, and human freedom. Our primary questions, then, if we are to consider Milton, must be historical-theological questions: who, exactly, controls this economy of loss and redemption? God, man, or both? To misread Milton's theology is to misread Milton. My work provides a corrective which opens up a richer, more historically accurate, and more stimulating reading of the poet's works. I first show the relationship between Calvinist and Arminian thought through analysis of the Remonstrance of 1610 and the Canons of Dordt (1619), thus establishing the nature of the theological debate in Europe and England during Milton's lifetime. Next I demonstrate and critique the long-term consensus regarding Milton's supposed Arminian theology, while attempting to explain the origins of such significant misreadings of his rhetoric. I further clarify the historical-theological context by delineating the contours of the Calvinist/Arminian debates as they were understood in seventeenth century England while laying out a series of close readings of Milton's prose and poetry demonstrating Milton's strong Reformed theology. I argue that Milton holds to a peculiarly English Calvinism that, in its strong emphasis on eternal providence and theodicy, is a direct and deliberate repudiation of Arminian theology. Along the way I show how a growing mass of unexamined assumptions about Milton's Arminianism -- assumptions endemic to critical essays, footnotes, and scholarly apparatus -- work to short-circuit a reader's ability to recognize the Calvinist paradigm actually informing Milton's thought.

John Milton s Paradise Lost

Author: Noam Reisner
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748688180
Release Date: 2011-04-18
Genre: Literary Criticism

This new guide leads readers through the complexities of the text with detailed commentary on core sections of the poem, as well as a range of interpretative frameworks and contexts.

Theological Milton

Author: Michael Lieb
Publisher:
ISBN: 0820703745
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Literary Criticism

"Literature and theology are inextricably intertwined in this study of the figure of God as a literary character in the writings of John Milton"--Provided by publisher.

Milton and the Terms of Liberty

Author: Graham Parry
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 9780859916394
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Literary Criticism

Essays on Milton's developing ideas on liberty, and his republicanism, as expressed in his writings over his lifetime.

Treacherous Faith

Author: David Loewenstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199203390
Release Date: 2013-08-29
Genre: History

Treacherous Faith is a major study of heresy and the literary imagination from the English Reformation to the Restoration. It analyzes both canonical and lesser-known writers who contributed to fears about the contagion of heresy, as well as those who challenged cultural constructions of heresy and the rhetoric of fear-mongering

The Alternative Trinity

Author: Anthony David Nuttall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198184621
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Literary Criticism

The Trinity of orthodox Christianity is harmonious. The Trinity for Blake is, conspicuously, not a happy family: the Father and the Son do not get on. It might be thought that so cumbersome a notion is inconceivable before the rise of Romanticism but the Ophite Gnostics of the second century AD appear to have thought that God the Father was a jealous tyrant because he forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and that the serpent, who led the way to the Tree of Knowledge, wasreally Christ. This book explores the possibility of an underground `perennial heresy', linking the Ophites to Blake. The `alternative Trinity' is intermittently visible in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and even in Milton's Paradise Lost. Blake's notorious detection of a pro-Satan anti-poem, latent in this `theologically patriarchal' epic is less capricious, better grounded historically and philosophically, than is commonly realised.

The Religious Roots of the First Amendment

Author: Nicholas P. Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199942800
Release Date: 2012-06-01
Genre: Religion

Traditional understandings of the genesis of the separation of church and state rest on assumptions about "Enlightenment" and the republican ethos of citizenship. In The Religious Roots of the First Amendment, Nicholas P. Miller does not seek to dislodge that interpretation but to augment and enrich it by recovering its cultural and discursive religious contexts--specifically the discourse of Protestant dissent. He argues that commitments by certain dissenting Protestants to the right of private judgment in matters of Biblical interpretation, an outgrowth of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, helped promote religious disestablishment in the early modern West. This movement climaxed in the disestablishment of religion in the early American colonies and nation. Miller identifies a continuous strand of this religious thought from the Protestant Reformation, across Europe, through the English Reformation, Civil War, and Restoration, into the American colonies. He examines seven key thinkers who played a major role in the development of this religious trajectory as it came to fruition in American political and legal history: William Penn, John Locke, Elisha Williams, Isaac Backus, William Livingston, John Witherspoon, and James Madison. Miller shows that the separation of church and state can be read, most persuasively, as the triumph of a particular strand of Protestant nonconformity-that which stretched back to the Puritan separatist and the Restoration sects, rather than to those, like Presbyterians, who sought to replace the "wrong" church establishment with their own, "right" one. The Religious Roots of the First Amendment contributes powerfully to the current trend among some historians to rescue the eighteenth-century clergymen and religious controversialists from the enormous condescension of posterity.

John Milton Introductions

Author: John Broadbent
Publisher: CUP Archive
ISBN: 0521097991
Release Date: 1973-12-13
Genre: Literary Criticism

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