Cover image for Theological Milton: Deity, Discourse and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon By Michael Lieb

Theological Milton

Deity, Discourse and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon

Michael Lieb

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$70.00 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-8207-0374-9

359 pages
6" × 9"
2006

Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies

Theological Milton

Deity, Discourse and Heresy in the Miltonic Canon

Michael Lieb

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.

 

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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.

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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