[Milton-L] # of occurrences of "love" in PL

Sanford Blackburn antinomian2 at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 17 13:52:11 EST 2010

Hmm.  Not entirely "unhelpful and inaccurate cliches," however. There is a related and parallel development in Milton that is helpful and accurate, and these cliches serve as a usable point of departure for finding it out. That is, Milton does seem to be making a point about anthropology that indicates progress and reformation--if not in history or in the historical evolution of theological discourse, then (and more importantly) in our poetic consciousness. If not an old/new covenant progression--(Milton maintains fidelity to both covenants; as he says, Jesus “came not to abrogate from the law not one jot or tittle.”)--Milton does apparently argue for an evolution and reformation of our anthropological understanding.  In anthropological terms, the Son can be read to represent the principle by which enlightened people progress away from the War-Chief-God in his council, as Satan is described in Books I and II. This dreadful war-chief-god is succeeded by the transformative poetic concepts leading to reason, reality and natural law, and which are variously represented by the discourse and the relations surrounding the Father and the Son. 
As A. D Nuttall has argued, there is ample evidence of Gnostic activity in the poem. I suggest, however, this Gnostic activity should not be read in theological terms, but rather as a mythological narrative that addresses the subject of our reformed (and reforming) anthropological understanding.  
Carter Kaplan
From: jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] # of occurrences of "love" in PL
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:51:11 -0500
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
.... these comments might lead us back to those rather unhelpful and inaccurate cliches about the vengeful, vindictive God of the Hebrew Bible reformed by the loving, merciful God of the New Testament, with the further implication that Milton was an Old Testament Christian. ....

Jeffrey Shoulson

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