[Milton-L] forwarded query re. Milton in Max Weber

Wittreich, Joseph JWittreich at gc.cuny.edu
Fri Sep 11 15:14:41 EDT 2015


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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Richard A. Strier [rastrier at uchicago.edu]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 2:57 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] forwarded query re. Milton in Max Weber

The whole thing has to derive from some mistranslation or paraphrase of something in Bk 1, ch. 3 of De Doctrina, where Milton expresses his loathing of any doctrine of God that denies human moral freedom (he thinks the God of strict Calvinism to be equivalent to the devil).

RS
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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Matthew Jordan [matthewjorda at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 12:33 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] forwarded query re. Milton in Max Weber

Dear All

Wouldn't it be somehow fitting if it came out of Kant's reading of Milton? cf., of course, Sanford Budick.

Best, Matt


On 11 September 2015 at 17:23, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com<mailto:matthewjorda at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear All

It seems to me a little un-Miltonic to envisage, however hypothetically and provisionally, going to hell himself. As a paraphrase of Milton's general sentiments regarding his God and his duties to Him, however, it seems apt and pithy, if perhaps over-simplified: could this be what Weber is up to? Just a little earlier, he quotes quite accurately from Paradise Lost, btw - tho doesn't fully reference the lines.

Best, Matt

On 11 September 2015 at 15:34, Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com<mailto:hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>> wrote:
Someone just noted on FICINO too that the quote (in Weber's German: "Mag ich zur Hölle fahren, aber solch ein Gott wird niemals meine Achtung erzwingen") does not seem to appear in Eibach's essay. Curioser and curioser.

Hannibal

On Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 3:13 AM, Martin Kuester <kuesterm at staff.uni-marburg.de<mailto:kuesterm at staff.uni-marburg.de>> wrote:
Dear All,

Just had a short look at the Eibach essay mentioned in the footnote. The Milton quote does not seem to be there either. I'll try and check Alfred Stern's German Milton biography from 1877 or 1879 that Weber mentions, if I can dig it out of our library.

Best,
Martin Kuester

Am 11.09.2015 um 08:05 schrieb John Hale:

​The remark as quoted seems too dismissive for Milton in De Doctrina, who insists more on his own interpretation of Predestination in I. 4 than on rubbishing the whole idea.

There seem to be problems also with the number of stages of  translation and transmission which the quip has gone through.

Watching with interest, though.

John Hale

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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu><mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> on behalf of Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com><mailto:hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, 10 September 2015 4:21 a.m.
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] forwarded query re. Milton in Max Weber

Dear Miltonists,

On behalf of David Sacks, who posted this query to FICINO, I'm forwarding his query to you. Is there something like this in the De Doctrina, which seems to be (indirectly, via German) the source? Weber's quotation has a long and complex afterlife, since a variety of authors (including apparently Karl Barth) pick up the Milton line without checking further.

Hannibal

--------------------------------------
Dear Colleagues,

In THE PROTESTANT ETHIC AND THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM (trans. Talcott Parsons), Max Weber offers this quotation as summing up what he calls "Milton's well-known opinion of the doctrine" of predestination: "Though I may be sent to Hell for it, such a God will never command my respect."

The accompanying endnote does not provide a citation to any work by Milton.  Instead it says: "On Milton's theology see the essay of Eibach in the THEOL. STUDIEN UND KRITIKEN, 1879.  Macaulay's essay on it...is superficial. For more detail see the somewhat too schematic six-volume English work of Masson, and the German biography of Milton which rest upon it...."

Parsons, of course, was an eminent sociologist, not a literary scholar.  I'm guessing that he translated the quote attributed to Milton directly from Weber's German without having a clue as to what Milton himself had said in English.  Does anyone recognize the quote as coming from something written by Milton? If not, does anyone have a suggestion about where the thought--if not the actual words--might be found?  For a variety of reasons, I'd like to track the it down.

With best wishes, David

------------------------------------------------

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