[Milton-L] The debt of gratitude

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Tue Sep 5 10:28:07 EDT 2017


Alison,

Please see this good article:

 Medine, Peter E. “Gratitude and *Paradise Lost*: A Neglected
Context.” In *Milton
and the Grounds of Contention*. Ed. Mark A. Kelley, Michael Lieb, and John
T. Shawcross. Pittsburgh: Duquesne U. Press, 2003. 115-49.

Medine explains a traditional view laid out by Aquinas: Angels and humans
do owe a debt of gratitude to their creator, but it differs from other
debts in that it cannot be collected or enforced, but only paid
voluntarily. It is a moral obligation.

I will link (because it is not online) an article I wrote on the subject
for a  volume aimed at students. It doesn't have much original scholarship.

Michael


On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 6:46 PM, Chapman, Alison <achapman at uab.edu> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
>
>
> I’d appreciate collective thoughts about Satan’s claim in Book 4 that he
> did not pay—refused to pay—the “debt of gratitude.” If we assume that Satan
> is in error here, which of the two following forms does his error take (or
> is there some third that I’m not thinking of)?:
>
>
>
> 1) he’s correct that he owed God a debt—i.e., the duty to render
> thanks—but he’s failing to acquit that debt by “paying” thanks and praise
>
> 2) he’s fundamentally mistaken to think of that relationship as a debt in
> the first place—i.e., that worship/submission/praise are spontaneous and
> voluntary acts and thus cannot be said to be obligatory forms of duty.
>
>
>
> Underlying this question is the larger one of to what degree Milton
> thought that created beings such as angels owed God worship as a kind of
> duty.
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>
>
> Alison
>
>
>
> Alison A. Chapman, Ph.D.
>
> Professor and Chair
>
> UAB Department of English
>
> 205-934-4250 <(205)%20934-4250> | achapman at uab.edu
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces@
> richmond.edu] *On Behalf Of *Richard A. Strier
> *Sent:* Monday, September 04, 2017 4:47 PM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Pass the salt.
>
>
>
> Special context.  But I really am bowing out of this -- unless we get back
> to Mr. Milton.
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> on
> behalf of James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Monday, September 4, 2017 4:19:23 PM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Pass the salt.
>
>
>
> Ha. See? In Carol's context, that's a suicide wish. Or a commentary on
> marriage. Maybe both.
>
>
>
> Jim R
>
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 4:06 PM, Carol Barton, PhD, CPCM <
> cbartonphd1 at verizon.net> wrote:
>
> Her husband slowly dying of hypernatremia, his poor wife knelt at his
> bedside and whispered, “Please . . . pass the salt.”
>
>
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