[Milton-L] "the only great Christian writer this nation has produced"

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Thu Jan 21 13:49:20 EST 2010


Surely there is a core of orthodoxy roughly defined by the principal creeds
and entailing the concepts of creation, sin, atonement through Christ, the
necessity of grace, and the trinity. Orthodoxy refers mainly to doctrine,
not to ecclesiastical polity or forms of worship. Unitarian-Universalism
would be an example of heterodoxy.

Michael

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu> wrote:

> Eliot was "produced by this nation." as per the stipulated characteristics.
> He was also a great and orthodox Christian writer. Wouldn't Hawthorne also
> qualify? I really like Flannery O'Conner, but the claim looks pretty silly.
>
> Michael
>
> On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM, Hannibal Hamlin <
> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> The problem with all such value judgements is that they depend upon
>> various definition arguments. From reading Flannery O'Connor, for instance,
>> I'd be inclined to seriously question her "orthodoxy." Indeed -- an idle
>> thought -- might "greatness" and "orthodoxy" usually exist in writers in
>> inverse proportion? But then of course "greatness" is even more difficult to
>> define. And what, moreover, makes a writer "religious"? I'd make a case for
>> both Whitman and Dickinson as religious, though they were far from orthodox.
>> Certainly great. I suppose we could even debate the parameters of
>> "American." What about T.S. Eliot?
>>
>> Hannibal
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 6:01 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
>> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>>  I see that I've not been clear. I wasn't contesting the exclusion of
>>> Milton from *American* writers, merely wondering if the same logic,
>>> applied to Milton, would exclude him from a list of Christian writers
>>> generally.
>>>
>>>
>>> But I seem also to have been wrong about Professor Wood being on this
>>> list. Must be some other list. Apologies for the distraction. Now back to
>>> the program "Cosmos," which is still in progress . . .
>>>
>>>
>>> Jeffery Hodges
>>>
>>>  ------------------------------
>>> *From:* "Campbell, W. Gardner" <Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu>
>>> *To:* John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>> *Sent:* Thu, January 21, 2010 7:51:33 AM
>>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] "the only great Christian writer this nation
>>> has produced"
>>>
>>> Ralph's not on this list (so far as I know). In the interview, he's
>>> speaking of US writers only. Still a debatable point, of course.
>>>
>>> Gardner
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>> On Jan 20, 2010, at 4:37 PM, "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <
>>> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com<mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Because I'm a Baylor alumnus, I receive regular emails from that
>>> university on things that Baylor professors are doing. This morning, I
>>> received an email informing me that our Milton List's very own Ralph Wood
>>> has appeared on the PBS "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" in a segment about
>>> Flannery O'Connor:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> <
>>> http://www2.baylor.edu/baylorproud/2010/01/baylor-professors-share-their-expertise-with-pbs-other-news-outlets/
>>> >
>>> http://www2.baylor.edu/baylorproud/2010/01/baylor-professors-share-their-expertise-with-pbs-other-news-outlets/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Professor Wood appears at about 37 seconds into the segment, and he makes
>>> the interesting claim that O'Conner is America's "only great Christian
>>> writer" of literature. He later qualifies this remark by adding "orthodox
>>> Christian."
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I'm curious, then, what Professor Wood might say about Milton. Since
>>> Milton was unorthodox in his theology, does that make him not a "great
>>> Christian writer"?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I'm not being polemical, by the way, I'm simply curious.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Jeffery Hodges
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Hannibal Hamlin
>> Associate Professor of English
>> The Ohio State University
>> 164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
>> Columbus, OH 43210-1340
>> hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
>> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
>>
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>
>
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