[Milton-L] I had to share this

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon May 1 17:07:35 EDT 2006

Carl Bellinger wrote:

>>How do your students react to this 'correction?' Do
they take to the idea of calling themselves
"Protestants" rather than "Christians" (assuming that
is what you teach them as the preferred term)? Years
ago I knew quite a few lovely folks who were
Protestant missionaries to Asia and I've always
wondered about this and am trying to imagine how you
handle the "Catholic" problem with your students. It
must be tricky to explain to them that those
evangelists and pastors who baptized them and their
parents and grandparents, were at the same time
indoctrinating them with a vicious view of the form of
Christianity which dominated (is it fair to say?) most
of Western Eur. History.<<

I've generally just made the correction, explaining
that Catholics and Protestants are both called
"Christian." They do, sometimes, look perplexed at
hearing this but generally accept the correction ...
or appear to. Korean culture is Confucian, so they
tend not to challenge teachers.

>>"And after all, how good a Protestant can one be
without at least a moderate dose of anti-Catholic (or
anti-Something) protestation and fervor? Or is it 
your slant to suggest -- somehow delicately -- that
the essential idea of "Christianity" itself, whether
Catholic or Reformed, is an indoctrination that needs
a deal of "subverting?"<<

The term "Protestant" would suggest that one is
defined by "protest," which is why Thomas Browne
'protested' against the term and preferred "Reformed."

As for "indoctrination," I suppose that taken
literally (etymologically?), the word would describe
the process of being taught any system of thought, but
no, I wasn't suggesting that Christian belief is due
to indoctrination.

>>Do you announce "up front" your religious or
philosophical leanings when you teach Milton?<<

No, but if students ask, I simply state that I'm
Protestant and leave it at that unless they ask
further questions.

Jeffery Hodges

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



Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Department of English Language and Literature
Korea University
136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Sehan Apt. 102-2302
Sinnae-dong 795
Seoul 131-770
South Korea

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