[Milton-L] Milton and the intellectus agens

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sun Nov 16 14:10:34 EST 2014


Ha... that's because I was referring to your post. Very sorry. I was
thinking of a different listserve.

That's what happens when you grade and read listserve posts at the same
time.

Jim R

On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 2:09 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:

> I didn't receive Joel's post - or haven't yet.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:54 AM, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> "Light" as a metaphor for the Divine or for Divine illumination is found
>> in Plato, the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian scriptures, and a number of
>> other sources prior to the Koran. It's a very common and widely
>> disseminated trope. Milton's language, as Joel pointed out, seems to most
>> closely resemble the NT, but he certainly isn't limited to being influenced
>> by that source.
>>
>> Jim R
>>
>> On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 1:23 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
>> horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Feisal, thanks for the interesting article.
>>>
>>> The *Qur'an* verse that serves as a source on divine illumination is
>>> lovely:
>>>
>>> *The Qur’an* 24.35: "God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The
>>> parable of His light is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp; the
>>> lamp is enclosed in glass, the glass shining like a radiant star: a lamp
>>> lit from a blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of
>>> the west - the oil whereof is so bright that it would well-nigh give light
>>> of itself even though fire had not touched it: light upon light!"
>>>
>>>
>>> If I understand your article well, you intend to show that Milton,
>>> despite his disdain for Islam, may have been working within the tradition
>>> of Al-Farabi and the Qur'anic verse, either consciously or unconsciously,
>>> in composing his invocation to light in *Paradise Lost* 3.1-6:
>>>
>>> Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
>>> Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
>>> May I express thee unblam'd? since *God is light*,
>>> And never but* in unapproached light*
>>> *Dwelt from Eternitie*, dwelt then in thee,
>>> Bright effluence of bright essence increate. (Milton Reading Room,
>>> Dartmouth)
>>>
>>>
>>> But you also cite Psalm 36:9:
>>>
>>> “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.”
>>>
>>>
>>> I suggest two more verses that also correspond to Milton's invocation:
>>>
>>> 1 John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and
>>> declare unto you, that *God is light*, and in him is no darkness at
>>> all."
>>>
>>> 1 Timothy 6:16: "Who only hath immortality, *dwelling in the light
>>> which no man can approach* unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to
>>> whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
>>>
>>>
>>> Some of the wording corresponds rather closely and might be of interest
>>> to you. Of course, these are merely verses and must be interpreted to fit
>>> into a tradition by which Milton would call upon God for enlightenment.
>>>
>>> Thanks again for an interesting article.
>>>
>>> Jeffery Hodges
>>>
>>> On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 9:23 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
>>> horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I'm also among the fifty!
>>>>
>>>> Jeffery
>>>>
>>>> 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
>>>>> <http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tandfonline.com%2Feprint%2FFvkDHTYFSYEv9muWfWuQ%2Ffull&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
>>>>>
>>>>>    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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>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Dr. James Rovira
>> Associate Professor of English
>> Tiffin University
>> http://www.jamesrovira.com
>> <http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jamesrovira.com%2F&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
>> Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
>> Continuum 2010
>> http://jamesrovira.com/blake-and-kierkegaard-creation-and-anxiety/
>> <http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fjamesrovira.com%2Fblake-and-kierkegaard-creation-and-anxiety%2F&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
>> Text, Identity, Subjectivity
>> http://scalar.usc.edu/works/text-identity-subjectivity/index
>> <http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fscalar.usc.edu%2Fworks%2Ftext-identity-subjectivity%2Findex&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
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>>
>
>
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-- 
Dr. James Rovira
Associate Professor of English
Tiffin University
http://www.jamesrovira.com
<http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jamesrovira.com%2F&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
Continuum 2010
http://jamesrovira.com/blake-and-kierkegaard-creation-and-anxiety/
<http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fjamesrovira.com%2Fblake-and-kierkegaard-creation-and-anxiety%2F&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
Text, Identity, Subjectivity
http://scalar.usc.edu/works/text-identity-subjectivity/index
<http://t.signauxdix.com/e1t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7lC8dDMPbW2n0x6l2B9nMJW7t5XX48qCrCPW8qyPx43H6XTxW72TN_H5fT_cx101?t=http%3A%2F%2Fscalar.usc.edu%2Fworks%2Ftext-identity-subjectivity%2Findex&si=4763272727232512&pi=aa267fd0-1e4b-4be7-9af0-0063abcb6d57>
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