[Milton-L] Milton and the Qur'an

Michele Walfred walfred at udel.edu
Mon Aug 11 11:40:38 EDT 2008

Dear Milton List,

I recently became friends with a woman of Palestinian decent and Muslim
faith, (a rarity in my geographical region) and after having many
enlightened discussions about the similarities and difference in organized
religions and in the practice of faith, I started reading the Qur'an to
better understand her point of view. 

I was immediately struck by the strong rejection of the Christian trinity,
and any practice of idolatry. Milton immediately came to mind. Certain
tenets notwithstanding,  my initial impression is that there would have been
a great deal in the Qur'an that Milton might have agreed with.  I was
surprised to read that the Qur'an uses Christ's own words to emphasize their
argument for Christ's humanity/prophet-only status as opposed to his being
divine. On this particular point of Milton would have strongly objected.

My curiosity piqued, I would like to know if Milton studied the Qur'an, (I
don't recall him knowing Arabic) and if so what he thought of it, what
references if any he might have made to it that have escaped my attention. I
would also appreciate direction to any readings this panel could recommend
on this subject. 

I've become fascinated with religious intolerance in culture and how it is
manifested in literature and art. A disclaimer, I am completely self-taught
in Milton studies- I undoubtedly operate under many unscholarly
misconceptions - and I use this list, silently, but faithfully, as a rudder
in my course work.


Michele D. Walfred
University of Delaware
Sussex County Cooperative Extension
16483 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, Del. 19947
Direct: (302) 856-2585 ext. 544
Fax: (302) 856-1845

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