Cover image for Milton and the Parables of Jesus: Self-Representation and the Bible in John Milton’s Writings By David V. Urban

Milton and the Parables of Jesus

Self-Representation and the Bible in John Milton’s Writings

David V. Urban

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$89.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08099-4
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352 pages
6" × 9"
2018

Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies

Milton and the Parables of Jesus

Self-Representation and the Bible in John Milton’s Writings

David V. Urban

While a considerable body of scholarship has been devoted to John Milton’s use of the Bible as an imaginative and structural framework for his own writings, this study is unique in focusing on the relationship between those writings and the parables of the New Testament. As Urban demonstrates, Milton went far beyond the standard practices of Reformed Puritan scriptural interpretation, incorporating the larger ideals he found in the parables while relating those also to his own self-conception and self-presentation. Indeed, Milton’s relationship to the parables of Jesus reveals a new and helpful way to understand both Milton the man and the most prominent Miltonic characters—who, as many have noted, bear distinct resemblances to their creator. Just as importantly, this study extends our understanding of early modern conceptions of selfhood and self-image.

 

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While a considerable body of scholarship has been devoted to John Milton’s use of the Bible as an imaginative and structural framework for his own writings, this study is unique in focusing on the relationship between those writings and the parables of the New Testament. As Urban demonstrates, Milton went far beyond the standard practices of Reformed Puritan scriptural interpretation, incorporating the larger ideals he found in the parables while relating those also to his own self-conception and self-presentation. Indeed, Milton’s relationship to the parables of Jesus reveals a new and helpful way to understand both Milton the man and the most prominent Miltonic characters—who, as many have noted, bear distinct resemblances to their creator. Just as importantly, this study extends our understanding of early modern conceptions of selfhood and self-image.

David V. Urban is professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the coeditor of Visionary Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence and coauthor of the comprehensive John Milton: An Annotated Bibliography, 1989–1999.

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