[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

rose williams rwill627 at cox.net
Tue Jul 11 14:35:06 EDT 2006

Endless havoc is wrought by modern persons who take it upon themselves to 
reenact Biblical events in modern times, with themselves as God's personal 
emissaries, of course. There was a good reason why Jesus talked so much 
about humility. Too bad most of the human race was not listening.
Rose Williams
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Feisal Mohamed" <feisalm at hotmail.com>
To: "'John Milton Discussion List'" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 1:16 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] The War in Heaven

> One has to draw the Iraq/Book VI parallels with caution: the last thing
> needed below the Mason-Dixon line is encouragement to lend cosmic
> significance to moronic foreign policy.
> Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a TV broadcast of John Hagee's sermon 
> _The
> End of an Age: Beyond Iraq_.  Pastor Hagee reminded his flock of San 
> Antonio
> Evangelicals time and again that "modern Iraq is biblical Babylon," a
> coincidence not simply of geography, but also in Iraq's status as 
> birthplace
> of a false religion (Rev 17 Gen 10), and in Saddam Hussein's desire to
> launch Scud Missiles into Israel, making him a sort of Nebuchadnezzar
> redivivus.  Further evidence for this parallel is provided by Jeremiah's
> prophecy of Operation Desert Storm: when Babylon was overtaken by a "a
> company of great nations" (50.9), when CNN's non-stop coverage "Declare[d]
> to the nations" that "Babylon is taken" (50.2), when Smart Bombs were 
> "like
> the arrows of a skilled warrior" (50.9), and the lighting of oil wells 
> made
> surrounding "nations weary themselves only for fire" (51.58).  The clear
> implication of this view of biblical history is that Operation Iraqi 
> Freedom
> has brought about the permanent fall of Babylon described in Rev 18, and 
> is
> thus not only inevitable, but also desirable in indicating a step toward
> Apocalypse. (See the ministry's official magazine on Iraq at
> http://www.jhm.org/mag-pdfs/may-june03mag.pdf)
> One of the features of Book VI that I don't think has been emphasized thus
> far is how Milton invites consideration of it as the stuff conventional to
> epic only to steer us in an entirely different direction.  Raphael tells 
> us
> after the first day that memorializing the combatants is not the point
> (6.373-85), a statement that shows us that this is not at all epic battle 
> in
> the spirit of a Homer or Vergil.  Pope and Johnson were right to think 
> that
> the second day departs from decorum; they were wrong not to see this as 
> part
> of Milton's design.  The pointlessness and absurdity illustrated by the
> first two days not only anticipate the triumph of the Son, but also the 
> more
> explicit critique of epic tradition offered in the proem to Book IX.
> Best,
> Feisal
> (Texas Tech)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of gilliaca at jmu.edu
> Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 11:20 AM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] The War in Heaven
> I will be teaching our Milton course this fall, and as always, will 
> probably
> find teaching the War in Heaven contextualized by the war in Iraq.
> At JMU we have a large contingent of ROTC students, and we have a good
> number of students with military family connections - siblings, uncles,
> aunts, parents in the military and in many cases serving active duty 
> abroad
> - so that the reality of earthbound warfare is a present part of life to
> many students.
> C
> Cynthia A. Gilliatt
> English Department, JMU
> JMU Safe Zones participant
> "You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you
> hate." Fr. John Weston _______________________________________________
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