[Milton-L] response to Prof. Fleming

Diane McColley dmccolley at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 31 18:03:05 EDT 2006

  On Jul 30, 2006, at 12:59 PM, Richard Strier wrote:

> Prof. McColley's response includes its own refutation   (Father could 
> have done it himself).

Theologically speaking, of course, God is not subject to necessity, but 
I thought you were talking about a poem.   I was responding to the 
statement  "(The Son in PL has no necessary role, except to serve as an 
irritant to Satan.  In the first speech in Book 3, the Father has 
already decided to give erring man a chance (and the erring angels, 
none), so the Son's "intervention" is not really part of the 
soteriological scheme.  And driving dad's chariot in Book VI is not 
much of a role.)"    My response was not that God had to do what he 
did, but that, in the epic, Father and Son do what they do not from 
necessity but from love and for the procession of love through the 
creation.    As to whether the Son's actions are necessary to 
soteriology I think that the process, not the fact, of redemption is 
what is being shown, and that the sense of process is part of what 
discourages idolatry.

I do think that interrogations of the text, to use an old-fashioned 
phrase, are useful, especially pedagogically, where students can raise 
and debate questions and demonstrate their answers from the text,  
rather than being lectured at.

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