[Milton-L] The irrelevance of Satan's character
rumrich at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Jul 21 11:35:24 EDT 2006
There is a reverend study of Milton and Origen: HF Robins, If this be
Heresy: A Study of Milton and Origen. I also seem to recall Milton
commenting on Origen in his commonplace book, disparagingly. I think
it had to do with Origen's literal reading of making oneself a eunuch
for the kingdom of God (Matt 19.12).
It also seems pertinent to this thread that Milton insists on the
distinction between what God wills and the ethical good. As he
writes in Defense of the English People regarding a the killing of a
tyrant, "if he commanded it, it was surely permissible, praiseworthy,
and noble. It was not however permissible and good to put a tyrant
to death because God commanded it, but rather God commanded it
because it was permissible and good" (YP 4.407). The notion of a
theodicy presumes this logical distinction. Various Christian
traditions may efface it; Milton did not.
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