[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 11 17:26:02 EDT 2006


If I recall, the extracanonical, Ethiopean Book of
Enoch tells of the rebel angels introducing technology
to fallen mankind, and this sort of tradition,
wherever it originated, surfaces in some Gnostic
texts. Probably also elsewhere. Milton may have been
drawing upon this tradition as well since he seems to
find a link between technology and the demonic.

Jeffery Hodges

--- jfleming at sfu.ca wrote:

> What inventing fire? 5.396: "No fear lest dinner
> cool." 
> 9.386-392: "Soft she withdrew," M says of the
> departing Eve, comparing her
> to Diana, "Though not as she with Bow and Quiver
> arm'd,/ But with such
> Gard'ning Tools as Art yet rude,/ Guiltless of fire
> had form'd, or Angels
> brought." And how is "fallen environment" relevant?
> 
> The _question_ of work in the garden is just that, a
> question. Revolving, it
> seems to me, around the extremely problematic status
> of technology. A and E
> in the garden are workers, but they are not, like
> the fallen angels in both
> Hell and Heaven, discoverers. JDF
> 
> On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 18:35:50 -0400
> milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> > I'm surprised that nobody has replied to JD
> Fleming's statement about 
> > technology being constructed as Satanic throughout
> PL. Surely that 
> > doesn't apply to Adam's inventing fire. Or does
> it? I've always 
> > thought that passage suggests that technology is a
> necessary and 
> > creative response to the fallen environment.
> > 
> > The fallen angels invent many human activities,
> some of them bad, but 
> > I've thought the main point of that is that we
> shouldn't get all 
> > puffed up about our ability to raise buildings,
> fight  wars, or do 
> > philosophy. The fallen angels invent heroic poetry
> and seem to invent 
> > music, though we later find the unfallen angels
> singing hymns and 
> > such.
> > 
> > My definition of technology would be any technique
> for accomplishing 
> > things in the material sphere that goes beyond the
> obvious uses of 
> > our natural physical equipment. When Eve ties up
> the roses with 
> > myrtle twigs, that's a technology. There's also
> social technology, 
> > which includes  things like instructional methods
> and bureaucracy.
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> 
> 
> James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor of English,
> Simon Fraser University,
> (604) 291-4713
> cell: 778-865-0926
> 
> Laissez parler les faits.
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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

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Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Department of English Language and Literature
Korea University
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