[Milton-L] Strier, the Son's role and necessity-- last try

Richard Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Wed Aug 9 12:28:50 EDT 2006


Last try:

The Father's speech presents man's chance at redemption (as opposed 
to the fallen angels' no chance-- which is disgusting, as I've said 
earlier) as a done deal.  No further action on the divine side is 
required or anticipated or hinted at.  The piece, as I said, includes 
a rationale for the justice of this possibility of salvation (man was 
deceived), so the issue of justice is taken care of-- nothing further 
needed.  Obviously, the possibility of salvation needs to be 
announced to man, but one of the very talkative angels could easily 
be commissioned to do that, and to give the required message:  act 
morally, have faith in God's promise.

 From my point of view, it does no good to quote stuff where the poem 
looks or sounds like standard Christian theology (death for death, 
etc), since M wants the poem to look that way.  PL works to disguise 
M's major departures from normative Xtianity-- and he seems to have 
convinced his critics to see him as more orthodox than he actually 
was (as an Arian, mortalist, rationalist, etc).  Whether M merely 
wants, in some sense, to have it both ways here; or whether he is 
doing some sort of "Straussian" devious thing; or whether he expected 
closed readers to notice the sham; or whether he was confused and 
contradictory in what he believed; or whether he did not want to own 
up to his lack of use for the central mythos of Xtianity-- I do not 
know.


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