[Milton-L] Milton on the Sacred and the Profane?

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Tue Aug 22 08:25:32 EDT 2006

Er, Jeffery, I don't think Milton thinks in these dualistic (or postmodern?)
terms. He's a monist.  It would be like saying that purity can make impurity
impure, or that health could infect sickness.

I don't know what I've done with my nifty copy of Bauman's  A Scripture Index to
John Milton's De Doctrina Christiana (MRTS, 1989), but that would be a good
place to look for a Leviticus gloss.  (And yes, I join a large body of
Miltonists who are sure that Milton wrote the DDC.)  

In the meantime, with just some flipping around, I did find this in DDC 1.7 ("On
the Creation"), which at least indicates the monism:  "Man having been created
after this manner, it is said, as a consequence, that 'man became a living
soul'; whence it may be inferred (unless we had rather take the heathen writers
for our teachers respecting the nature of the soul) that man is a living being,
intrinsically and properly one and individual, not compound or separable, not,
according to the common opinion, made up and framed of two distinct and
different natures, as of soul and body, but that hte whole man is soul, and the
soul man, that is to say, a body, or substance individual, animated, sensitive,
and rational; and that the breath of life was neither a part of the divine
essence, nor the soul itself, but as it were an inspiration of some divine
virtue fitted for the exercise of life and reason, and infused into the organic
body; for man himself, the whole man, when finally created, is called in
express terms 'a living soul.'  Hence the word used in Genesis to signify
'soul,' is interpreted by the apostle, I Cor. 15.45. 'animal.'  Again, all the
attributes of the body are assigned in common to the soul:  the touch, Lev.
5.2, &c 'if a soul touch any unclean thing."  So Columbia 15.39 and 41; the
Yale is 6.317-18.

I imagine that if Milton uses the term "contaminate," he might favor the passive
participle rather than the active verb, but it would take concordances to know
for sure.  



Quoting Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>:

> Has much been written on Milton's concept of what is
> usually called "the sacred and the profane"?
> I'm curious as to how Milton understands Leviticus
> 10:10, which requires that the Israelites "distinguish
> between the holy and the common and between the impure
> and the pure."
> Does Milton anywhere discuss this verse or present the
> holy and the impure as 'contagious' dynamic forces?
> Does he understand the "common" (the profane) as
> intrinsically pure but capable of being 'contaminated'
> by the holy or the impure?
> Does he distinguish between the two conceptions of the
> holy? On the one hand as a divine dynamic force but on
> the other hand as a purified object set apart in
> dedication to God?
> I've been looking but so far haven't found much
> written on this topic. I imagine Jason Rosenblatt or
> Jeffrey Shoulson might have written something...
> 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
> Blog:
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
> Office Address:
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Department of English Language and Literature
> Korea University
> 136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
> Seoul
> South Korea
> Home Address:
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Sehan Apt. 102-2302
> Sinnae-dong 795
> Jungrang-gu
> Seoul 131-770
> South Korea
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Jameela Lares, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax

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