[Milton-L] familiar controversy

John Rumrich rumrich at mail.utexas.edu
Sun Jan 30 11:42:17 EST 2011


Pretty orthodox, perhaps.  But that's a pretty necessary "pretty."

The Son in PL is not presented as a necessary manifestation so far as  
I can tell, and Milton in De Doctrina argues in effect that with  
regard to the Son, "begotten" and "necessary" are logically  
exclusive.  The Son is contingent and as dependent on the free choice  
of the true God as any creation, including Satan.

I've argued this at length before in print, so I won't elaborate  
here.  But I do think that such claims require more than high plains  
assertion.




On Jan 30, 2011, at 10:25 AM, JD Fleming wrote:

> Actually -- and of course this is a familiar controversy -- in PL  
> iii the God-Son relationship is presented in what I take to be  
> pretty orthodox terms -- Son as the begotten and necessary  
> manifestation of the Father, etc. So "as contingent as Satan" would  
> be a strong overstatement. For that matter: isn't the Holy Spirit  
> the conversation in which they engage? JD Fleming
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michelle Zappa" <michelleazappa at gmail.com>
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 4:49:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Satan and Resentment
>
>
> On the subject of contingent beings, the eternal Christian God, and  
> Milton's resentful Satan: what of the Son? The common view of the  
> Biblical Christ as fully God, a part of an everlasting triune  
> Godhead, suggests that we consider the Son in the same way as the  
> Father - a being who exists without beginning or end, and who is  
> therefore above the human understanding of "being". However, the Son  
> for Milton, whilst of equal substance to God the Father, was  
> nevertheless created; the Son has a beginning.
>
>
> The Son, as we encounter him in Paradise Lost, creates something of  
> an ontological paradox. If Satan's primary motive for evil is  
> resentment of God's favouritism of the Son, then it is the creation  
> (and subsequent favouritism) of the Son that gives life to evil.  
> Conversely, without the angels' fall, the Son would not be able to  
> fulfil the task of salvation that he is solely able to carry out.  
> The Son, although God, is as much a contingent being as Satan.
>
>
>
>
> Shell Z
>
>
>
>
>
> On 29 January 2011 23:19, Horace Jeffery Hodges < jefferyhodges at yahoo.com 
>  > wrote:
>
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>
>
>
>
>
> Jim Rovira wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> "Existence is not an attribute of a thing like color and extension:  
> e.g. The car is blue. 'Car' is the subject of this sentence and  
> 'blue' is the predicate. You would not say, 'the car exists,'  
> however, and make any sense, because you assume that the car exists  
> by talking about the car to begin with. Existence is assumed by the
> subject of the sentence so does not belong in the predicate."
>
>
>
>
>
> Jeffery Hodges wonders:
>
>
>
>
>
> Jim, might you need to refine this point? Surely we can speak of  
> blue cars that do not exist. Or I might insist that the blue car  
> that I'm referring to is not imaginary, that it does exist.
>
>
>
>
>
> Jeffery Hodges
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>
> -- 
> James Dougal Fleming
> Associate Professor
> Department of English
> Simon Fraser University
>
> "to see what is questionable"
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