[Milton-L] Milton and the intellectus agens

LEEJACOBUS at aol.com LEEJACOBUS at aol.com
Fri Nov 14 23:35:13 EST 2014

Many thanks, Feisal, for your article. I have just downloaded  it and will 
read it tomorrow.  Best, Lee

In a message dated 11/14/2014 6:18:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
f.mohamed00 at gmail.com writes:

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.leejacobus.com/) 


“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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