[Milton-L] the problem of hell

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Thu Oct 31 19:00:54 EDT 2013


Distantly relevant: Happy 'Hellaween':

http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/2013/11/happy-hellaween.html

Inspired by Bulgakov's Hella . . .

Jeffery Hodges

Ewha Womans University
Seoul, South Korea


Novella: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KW0K (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer
*)


Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bottomless-Bottle-of-Beer/204064649770035
 (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*)

Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ (*Gypsy Scholar*)


Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic
Texts"


Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University


Home Address:


Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
Sangbong-dong 1
Jungnang-gu
Seoul 131-771
South Korea


On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 7:58 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:

> From an internet search (which I don't fully trust), I've found that the
> Old English place name "Hel" seems to be feminine in grammatical gender,
> and Hel is a female entity in Norse mythology who rules the underworld.
> Someone more knowledgeable than I can confirm or deny.
>
> For what it's worth, "She'ol" (Hebrew שְׁאוֹל) and "Hades" (Ἅιδης/ᾍδης)
> are both masculine in grammatical gender.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> Ewha Womans University
> Seoul, South Korea
>
>
> Novella: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KW0K (*The Bottomless Bottle of
> Beer*)
>
>
> Facebook:
> https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bottomless-Bottle-of-Beer/204064649770035
>  (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*)
>
> Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ (*Gypsy Scholar*)
>
>
> Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic
> Texts"
>
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
>
> Home Address:
>
>
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Sangbong-dong 1
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea
>
>
> On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 1:05 AM, Mulryan, John <JMULRYAN at sbu.edu> wrote:
>
>> ** ** **
>>
>> Dear friends: I was asked a question by a student that I cannot answer
>> intelligently. In book 3, line 331, why is hell described as female” (her
>> numbers full). I have some theories, but await to be instructed by my
>> learned colleagues Best, John Mulryan ****
>>
>> ** **
>>  ------------------------------
>>
>> *From:* milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:
>> milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] *On Behalf Of *Richard A. Strier
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:10 PM
>>
>> *To:* **John Milton Discussion List**
>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] the problem of hell****
>>
>>  ** **
>>
>> Everything Steve F says seems to me quite right.  But it doesn't really
>> answer the question.  The question is whether the notion of hell is morally
>> intelligible -- should anyone be punished eternally for a sin committed in
>> time.   ****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> The believers in universal salvation thought that this was an abominable
>> idea, as do I.  The trouble with the protestant scheme is that in
>> eliminating purgatory, it eliminated the possibility of guaranteeing moral
>> improvement -- through whatever painful process of re-education -- for the
>> wicked.  I know all the stuff about in hell the wicked re-perform their
>> wickedness eternally, and therefore keep meriting their punishment, but
>> that seems to me a nasty doctrine in itself.  The point is the ethically
>> abominable status of the concept of hell.  A number of thinkers in the
>> Christian tradition found it so (from Origen to young Thomas Browne on).
>>  Even our penal system pretends that it values rehabilitation rather than
>> mere punishment.****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> To get out of the dilemma, ****Milton**** would have had to envision
>> something like purgatory -- perhaps an ante-chamber to heaven in which
>> purifying suffering took place (something a great visionary poet could do).
>> ****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> And to answer the (supposedly) knock-down question-- do I think Satan
>> should eventually be saved (in a moral universe in which this question
>> makes sense-- that is, in which there is such a thing as "salvation"), my
>> answer is yes.  And then, of course, there is Hitler.  Again, I'd say,
>> after enough salutary pain, and reeducation, yes.  ****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> That seems to me what Christianity should look like -- a religion truly
>> of love and grace.  Punishment and vengeance are not anything special.
>>  Love is (and love only for the worthy is hardly impressive).****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> Best,****
>>
>> the heretic****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> ** **
>>    ------------------------------
>>
>> *From:* milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [
>> milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of **Steve Fallon** [
>> sfallon at nd.edu]
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:57 AM
>> *To:* **John Milton Discussion List**
>> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Bk 3****
>>
>> On Oct 26, 2013, at 6:49 PM, Richard A. Strier wrote:****
>>
>>
>>
>> ****
>>
>> Jeffery:  "Did ****Milton**** hold that all mankind would find grace?" **
>> **
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> RS:  He should have, but didn't.  Alas!  If he had, he could have been
>> one of the heroes of D. P. Walker's wonderful *The Decline of Hell*.****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> It all depends on what "all mankind" and "*find* grace" mean. I do not
>> recall that ****Milton**** in his discussions of grace and
>> predestination handles the question of those who have not heard of Christ,
>> but setting that question aside he is clear in his opposition to
>> the Calvinist doctrines of limited atonement and irresistible grace.  In
>> other words, he is clear that grace is offered not only to the elect, but
>> generally.  If the offer of grace to all is synonymous with all "find[ing]
>> grace," then the answer would be that all do find grace. ****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> In the epic, the Father promises that "Man shall not quite be lost, but
>> saved who will, / Yet not of will in him, but grace in me / Freely
>> vouchsafed."  With this grace, "lapséd powes" are "renew[ed]."  This points
>> to the partial undoing of the fall, so that "yet once more" man will "stand
>> / On even ground against his foe."  After the race is enthralled to sin as
>> a result of the fall, God will allow each to choose.  One might argue that
>> God does not specify explicitly all persons, but given the general language
>> the specification would seem more necessary if God meant to exclude anyone
>> from this offered grace.****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> **Milton** is explicit in the *Christian Doctrine*: "God foreknew those
>> who would believe, that is, he decreed or approved that they alone would be
>> those for whom in Christ he should have regard—*all, certainly, if they
>> believed " *(the new ****Oxford**** edition, 8.1:87; my emphasis).  The
>> point is clear in the Latin (*"omnes utique si credidissent*").  The
>> passage is in the Yale edition at 6.181-82 and in the Modern Library
>> edition—slipping in a plug here—on pp. 1164-65).  Milton emphasizes the
>> universality of offered grace a few pages later: "[I]f God rejects no one
>> except the disobedient and the unbeliever, surely he imparts grace—if not
>> equal, yet sufficient—to all, by which they may be able to arrive at
>> recognition of the truth and salvation.... The reason, therefore, why God
>> does not deem all worthy of equal grace is his own supreme will; the
>> reason, however, for his deeming *all* worthy of sufficient grace is his
>> justice" (my emphasis again, ****Oxford**** 8.1:101-03; in Yale,
>> 6:192-93; in MLM 1168-69).  ****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> So if to "find grace" means to accept it and believe, then the answer is
>> clearly *no.  *If it means to have the benefit of grace enabling one to
>> believe and be saved, the answer seems clearly to be *yes.*****
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> Steve F****
>>
>> ** **
>>
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>>
>
>
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