[Milton-L] Milton on the Sacred and the Profane?
bcarlb at comcast.net
Tue Aug 22 13:14:34 EDT 2006
Jeffery, if I read your query right [forgive me if not] you are reading the
Leviticus as presenting a parallel equation, A-B/A-B, rather than a chiastic
equation. So that
>" between the holy and the common and between the impure
> and the pure."
is parsed as matching "holy" with "impure" and "common" with "pure." But I
suspect here an inverted equation --chiasm, hysteron/proteron-- A-B/B-A,
which would match "holy" with "pure" and "common" with "impure."
They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods,/
with abominable practices they provoked him to anger
323: ADAM the goodliest man of men since borne
324: His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters EVE.
PS: Speaking of the pure and impure, and if you will pardon a bland
reminiscence, I used to think the NT caution about casting pearls to swine a
puzzling formulation --sure, a pig will trample pearls underfoot, but will
a pig then "turn and rend" you?-- The solution which one Sunday-school
teacher provided me for Mt. 7:6 was that, yes indeed, a pig is a vicious
thing --if a kid falls into a pig pen he's in serious trouble and may never
come out. But dear Mr. Williams was stuck with the RSV and wasn't reading,
it turns out, the hysteron-proteron of the Greek. This is just the frequent
OT and NT structure of chiasmus; so, yes indeed, :-) it's the Rottweilers
and pit bulls a kid has to watch out for:
Mt. 7:6 "Do not give what is holy to dogs... lest... they turn and tear you
On holy-to-dogs/pearls-to-swine see John Breck, "The Shape of Biblical
Language." 29. Breck's rather loosely argued book is primarily about
chiasmus in the NT, but it begins with examples in Hebrew texts and also
claims [citing, among others, A. Stock "Chiastic Awareness and Aducation in
Antiquity," Biblical Theology Bulletin 14:1 (1984),23-27] it was normative
in Greek and Latin education to practice reading chiastically, "from the
center outward, and from the extremities towards the center."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 3:06 AM
Subject: [Milton-L] Milton on the Sacred and the Profane?
> 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
> 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
> South Korea
> Milton-L mailing list
> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
More information about the Milton-L