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By John P. Rumrich, Stephen B. Dobranski

Reviews
"These extraordinary essays dislodge the tenacious assumption that Milton's spiritual inspiration is orthodox." - John Childs, Albion

"...splendid..." - Larry R. Isitt, Church History

Book Description
It is fairly paradoxical that John Milton--who adverse child baptism, supported regicide, defended divorce and licensed of polygamy--should be heard as a voice of orthodoxy. but smooth scholarship has frequently understated or defined away his heretical reviews. This selection of essays investigates facets of his works inconsistent with traditional ideals, exhibiting how Milton, as poet, philosopher and public servant, eschewed dogma and thought of indeterminacy and uncertainty as basic to human existence.

Contents
List of individuals
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations

Introduction: Heretical Milton - Stephen B. Dobranski and John P. Rumrich

PART I HERETICAL THEOLOGY
1. Milton on heresy - Janel Mueller
2. Milton's antiprelatical tracts and the marginality of doctrine - Thomas okay Corns
3. How radical was once the younger Milton? - Barbara okay. Lewalski

PART II HERESY AND effects
4. Milton's Arianism: why it concerns -John R Rumrich
5. "Elect above the rest": theology as self-representation in Milton - Stephen M. Fallon
6. Milton's kisses - William Kerrigan

PART III HERESY AND neighborhood
7. Licensing Milton's heresy - Stephen B. Dobranski
8. Milton and the explanation of insulting - John ok. Hale
9. Treason opposed to God and kingdom: blasphemy in Milton's tradition and Paradise misplaced - David Loewenstein
10. The politics of functionality within the internal theater: Samson Agonistes as closet drama - Elizabeth Sauer

PART IV READERS OF HERESY
11. saying everlasting windfall: John Milton throughout the window of liberation theology - John S. Bennett
12. Milton's transgressive maneuvers: receptions (then and now) and the sexual politics of Paradise misplaced - Joseph Wittreich

Index

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Extra resources for Milton and Heresy

Example text

On the showing of his whole corpus of prose, this hardly seems likely. Thus his sustained efforts to connect hairesis positively with ekklesia appearfinallyto crumble in the face of the imperative Milton saw of legitimating the forms of Protestant sectarianism in Restoration England. " As there were Pythagoreans, Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, and Epicureans in antiquity, so Milton catalogues "Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, Socinians, Arminians" in the present (CP Will: 423). He also proceeds to characterize their seeking and choosing in accordance with the range of meanings encompassed by hairesis in its Hellenistic, pre-Pauline senses: "So long as all these profess to set the Word of God only before them as the Rule of faith and obedience; and use all diligence and sincerity of heart, by reading, by learning, by study, by prayer for the Illumination of the holy Spirit, to understand the Rule and obey it, they have done what man can do" (CPvill: 423-24).

L Milton, of course, was not a member of Parliament. Moreover, the life records for the period preceding his eruption into print in the early summer of 1641 give no indication of his personal view of the developing crisis. Gordon Campbell's new Milton chronology, a timely and immensely valuable 39 40 THOMAS N. CORNS addition to the Life Records edited by J. 2 But most certainly, the early fixations of his political prose are wholly with religious concerns. Touchstones of legal-constitutionalist radicalism, matters like ship-money for example, go unmentioned.

The answer seems to be yes. There is poignancy in the relevance here of Raymond Williams's observation that the problems of a keyword's meanings appear inextricably bound up with the problems it is used to discuss. When Milton argues against virtually the entire precedent of his prose works, with the notable and temporary exception of Areopagitica, that "sect" and "schism" are neutral to good terms and Milton on heresy 35 "heresy" alone is the bad term, the resulting semantic and rhetorical dislocations register the political costs of attempting to secure toleration for all Protestants and only for Protestants in 1673 under a restored Crown and Church of England.

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