[Milton-L] Free Will, Forgiveness

cobelli at aol.com cobelli at aol.com
Thu Jul 27 15:04:38 EDT 2006

According to Rene Girard, the passion of Christ breaks the scapegoating mechanism of a religious system based on an dynamic between the sacred and the violent (based to some degree on vengeance). See his tome, Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, especially chapter four. 
Scott Grunow
Department of English
University of Illinois at Chicago
-----Original Message-----
From: dmccolley at earthlink.net
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Sent: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Free Will, Forgiveness

Seems to me--maybe I'm being simple-minded--that "Love thine enemy" and "turn the other cheek" are part of a teaching that aims to break the cycle of revenge (as Aristophanes also aimed)--with what success we have current grisly evidence--and that "O God, to whom vengeance belongeth" (Psalm 94) and "vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord" (Romans 12.19) suggest that human beings should not take revenge, but rather "if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." I wonder (naively, I admit) what the world would be like if powerful leaders who claim to be Christians behaved that way. So Milton's God's casting Satan out of heaven (but not, it seems, inhibiting his travels and activity) is an act of justice that does not shut down the freedom of the tempter or the tempted but does restore a peaceable kingdom (Milton being opposed to human kings but not "Heaven's King") where the cycle of revenge is not practiced by created beings. 
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