[Milton-L] Milton and the intellectus agens

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Fri Nov 14 19:23:13 EST 2014

I'm also among the fifty!


On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 8:21 AM, David Urban <dvu2 at calvin.edu> wrote:

>   Thank you, Feisal.  Count me among the privileged 50!
>  Sincerely,
>  David
>   David V. Urban, Ph.D.
>  Associate Professor of English
> Calvin College
> 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
> Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4404
> Office Phone: (616) 526-8646
>   From: Feisal Mohamed <f.mohamed00 at gmail.com>
> Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Friday, November 14, 2014 6:17 PM
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Subject: [Milton-L] Milton and the intellectus agens
>   Dear Milton-L
>  Fort those interested, Taylor and Francis informs me that the first 50
> people to use the link below may access the online version of my article
> "Milton's Enmity toward Islam and the *Intellectus Agens." * This will
> appear in a 2015 special issue of *English Studies *on Milton and Islam,
> co-edited by Francois-Xavier Gleyzon and David Currell. The link and an
> abstract are below
>  This is not exactly a foretaste of door-crashing Black Friday offers,
> but I hope it will be of some benefit to Milton-L subscribers with no
> institutional access to *English Studies*.
>  Best to all,
> Feisal Mohamed
>  http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/FvkDHTYFSYEv9muWfWuQ/full
>    Abstract
>   “The specific political distinction to which political actions and
> motives can be reduced”, Carl Schmitt famously pronounced, “is that between
> friend and enemy.” Milton's politics are often premised on a distinction
> between the amity of the enlightened few and a benighted global majority
> often associated with the East, and specifically with Islam. The
> distinction is articulated most clearly in The Tenure of Kings and
> Magistrates, which declares that an “Englishman forgetting all laws, human,
> civil and religious … is no better than a Turk, a Sarasin, a Heathen”; it
> also informs the sustained association of Satan with barbarous Middle
> Eastern rule in Paradise Lost. The animosities reflect in many ways growing
> contact with the Islamic world arising with the expansion of English
> trade—at times rapid, at times halting, always contested—contact that also
> pressed home the awareness, expressed by Milton's friend Roger Williams
> in The Hireling Ministrie None of Christs, that Muslims significantly
> outnumbered Christians in the period. Over his career, Milton's
> cosmopolitanism, like his nationalism, becomes characterized by an ever
> more pronounced sense of the worldly power of the benighted majority,
> occasioning an emphasis on the inward turn of the enlightened few. But in a
> way that is most visible in the invocation to light in Paradise Lost, the
> language of Milton's inward turn draws on the intellectus agens tradition
> with its roots in Islamic philosophy. This article explores these roots and
> examines their potential influence on Milton's poetry. Is Milton
> consciously drawing on al-Farabi and Ibn Sina, or is his engagement of this
> category only a response to such contemporaries as John Smith? Has he
> distinguished himself from falsafa, or has he developed an idea of the
> enlightened subject that has admitted an enemy within? Exploring these
> questions might reorient the intellectual history informing Milton's
> anthropology, and also complicate the Islamophobic language in which he
> indulges with unsettling frequency.
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