[Milton-L] Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 3 12:52:51 EDT 2006

Carrol Cox wrote:

"A text that sets out to justify explicitly the ways
of god is going to set teeth on edge. I believe a
number of  critics (including several on this list)
hold that that was Milton's intention."

Right, and that presented Milton with his problem. He
didn't just set out to write a defense of God's ways
but full-blown theodicy. Thus, he couldn't easily take
refuge in a mere defense and argue that God has not
been proven to be unjust; rather, he had to construct
a theodicy and show that God was justified in his

If he were focused on the problem posed by the sheer
amount of evil (as opposed to the mere presence of
some evil), then the logic of his aim -- a theodicy --
would compel him to offer an answer that would justify
God's ways.

I'm not sure that Milton saw this problem clearly,
which is part of what motivated my question. Does
Milton anywhere write explicitly about the problem
posed for belief in a just God by the amount of evil
permeating what God has created?

(This assumes that Milton believd God to all-powerful,
all-knowiing, and all-beneficient -- and I think that
he did believe in this omni-God.)

Jeffery Hodges

University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Email Address:

jefferyhodges at yahoo.com



Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Department of English Language and Literature
Korea University
136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Sehan Apt. 102-2302
Sinnae-dong 795
Seoul 131-770
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