Theological Milton: Deity, Discourse and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon

Theological Milton: Deity, Discourse and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon

Michael Lieb $70.00

Published in 2006 | 348 pages | cloth | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0374-9


“Exemplifying historical scholarship at its best, this book engages the complex and controversial concept of God in Milton's major poetry and prose. . . . Accessible, richly documented, and clearly and cogently argued, this book will become a landmark in the study of Milton, of 17th-century religious orthodoxy and unorthodoxy, and of the interplay of Literary Studies and theology.” — Choice


“This is an immensely valuable study whose greatest value is its challenge to all readers of Milton to refrain from neatly placing Milton, Milton's theology, and/or Milton's God into whatever category most comfortably fits our own beliefs or inclinations. . . . That Lieb's book implicitly challenges us to also read the Bible in such a way is entirely appropriate, for, as Lieb discusses, Milton himself engaged the Bible in such a daring manner. For Lieb's challenge, this reader finds himself profoundly grateful and enriched.” —Christianity & Literary Studies"

“Outstanding Academic Title” — Choice 

Book Information:

In lively, forceful, and at times witty language, Michael Lieb has written an illuminating study of the figure of God as a literary character in the writings of John Milton. Milton's God has always been a provocative and controversial figure, and Lieb offers a fresh way to look at the relationship between the language of theology and the language of poetry in Milton's works. He draws into the discussion previous authors on the subject⎯Patrides, Hunter, Kelley, Empson, Danielson, Rumrich, and others⎯resulting in a dynamic debate about Milton's multifarious God. By stressing God's multivalent qualities, Theological Milton offers an innovative perspective on the darker side of the divinity. Lieb allows us to see a Miltonic God of hate as well as a God of love, a God who is a creator as well as a destroyer. Lieb directly confronts the more troubling faces of God in a manner richly informed by Milton's own theology. Against the theoretical framework for the idea of addressing God as a distinctly literary figure, Lieb presents Milton in the historical milieu prior to and contemporaneous with his works. More cogently than others, Lieb clarifies Milton's theology of the godhead and the various heresies, such as Socinianism and Arianism, that informed the religious controversies of the seventeenth century. He does so in a manner that exemplifies how Literary Studies and theology are inextricably intertwined.

Author Information:

MICHAEL LIEB is professor of English and Research Professor of Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is coeditor of The Miltonic Samson, which won the 1996 Irene Samuel Award of the Milton Society of America.


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