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.
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.
Diese Studie entfaltet anhand des epischen Gedichts Paradise Lost die Theologie von John Milton (1608 – 1674). Vor dem Hintergrund der nachreformatorischen Kontroversen über Prädestination, Schöpfung, freien Willen, Sünde und Gnade zeigt der Autor, wie Milton sein Konzept der Freiheit im kreativen Wechselspiel von Kontinuität und Diskontinuität entwickelt.
Citing Milton's major prose works from the civil war through to the Restoration, Walker reveals a Milton who is antiformalist in his constitutional thought, unrevolutionary in his general socio-political outlook, and markedly illiberal on a wide range of social, religious and political issues. Walker's book is thus a highly provocative challenge to the current consensus that Milton is an early modern proponent of republicanism, radicalism, revolution and liberalism.
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."
What is true liberty? Milton labors to provide an answer, and his answer becomes the ruling principle behind both prose works and poetry. The scholarly community has largely read liberty in Milton retrospectively through the spectacles of liberalism. In so doing, it has failed to emphasize that the Christian paradigm of liberty speaks of an inward microcosm, a place of freedom whose precincts are defined by man's fellowship with God. All other forms of freedom relate to the outer world, be they freedom to choose the good, absence of external constraint and oppression, or freedom of alternatives. None of these is true liberty, but they are pursued by Milton in concert with true liberty. Milton's Inward Liberty attempts to address the bearing of true liberty in Milton's work through the magnifying glass of seventeenth-century theology.
Modern republicanism - distinguished from its classical counterpart by its commercial character and jealous distrust of those in power, by its use of representative institutions, and by its employment of a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances - owes an immense debt to the republican experiment conducted in England between 1649, when Charles I was executed, and 1660, when Charles II was crowned. Though abortive, this experiment left a legacy in the political science articulated both by its champions, John Milton, Marchamont Nedham, and James Harrington, and by its sometime opponent and ultimate supporter, Thomas Hobbes. This volume examines these four thinkers, situates them with regard to the novel species of republicanism first championed in the early 1500s by Niccolò Machiavelli, and examines the debt that he and they owed the Epicurean tradition in philosophy and the political science crafted by the Arab philosophers Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroës.