[Milton-L] response to Prof. Fleming

Richard Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sun Jul 30 15:59:30 EDT 2006


Brief response to Mr. Fleming:

1) re the Son's role, Mr. F says:  "I think Diane McColley has 
already done this. But the point hardly requires proving."

First of all, Prof. McColley's response includes its own refutation 
(Father could have done it himself).  Moreover, simply to say a point 
doesn't need proving won't/can't make any impression on someone who 
thinks that it does need proving.  A supercilious assertion is not an 
argument.  I have heard no response to my point about the Father's 
first speech in Bk 3, where he says, unequivocally, that man will 
find grace, and gives his own purely moral reasons for this decision. 
The Son is not mentioned.  But I feel that I am starting to repeat 
myself, which I do not wish to do.  My point, to try to clarify it, 
is not that the Son is not given things to do by the Father, and 
perhaps morally tested in Bk 3; my point is that nothing that the Son 
does is required by the theology of the poem.

2) re hermeneutics, I am not recommending esotericism or 
Straussianism.  But I have said all I am going to say about this 
topic, and probably the above one as well, since I think the 
discussion is becoming  unproductive.  Others may wish to carry on 
this discussion, however.


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