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dc.contributor.advisorGossman, Ann
dc.contributor.authorBuckalew, Maryen_US
dc.description.abstractMany Miltonists object in shockingly condemnatory terms to the Heavenly Dialogue in Book III of Paradise Lost. Specifically, Milton's God is attacked as vindictive and his presence in the poem entirely inappropriate. A detailed examination of the Tradition into which flow the great streams of Greek thought and of Judaeo-Christian thought proves that that Tradition anticipates every aspect of cosmic justice-mercy as Milton saw it. Milton draws freely from both traditions. He accepts the Platonic moral ideas, though he follows Christian neo-Platonists in placing the Ideas in the mind of God. As had the Greeks, Aquinas, Dante, and Spenser, he accepts the ordering of the cosmos as a function of divine justice-mercy. But rejecting Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, he finds with the Greeks, Dante, Hooker, and Spenser that men are left free to choose. He rejects Plato's doctrine of metempsychosis and Aeschylus's doctrine of the perfectibility of God. From the New Testament and subsequent Christian thought he takes the joyful revelation that God is a loving Father who has made possible the teaching of Christ for our sanctification and the Atonement of Christ for our salvation. A signal contribution of patristic and later Christian theology, however, the trinitarian doctrine of God, Milton emphatically rejects. With the Greeks, Dante, Hooker, and Spenser he rejects predestination- reprobation, promulgated by Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin. With all thinkers except Luther and Calvin he sees the distribution of rewards and punishments as a necessary function of divine justice-mercy. W1th Luther, Calvin, Hooker, and Spenser, Milton rejects purgatory. However, he accepts heaven and hell. He rejects the notion of a particular judgment, and he accepts the notion of the Millenium. From Philo he welcomes the indispensable doctrine of accommodation whereby God manifests himself to finite creatures as analysis though in truth he is incomprehensible synthesis. Milton propounds no heresy in the Heavenly Dialogue. His poem demands the speaking presence of God. His poetic powers have not flagged. The modern critical rejection of Milton's God is therefore a rejection of God himself, as C. S. Lewis had said.
dc.format.extentiv, 219 leaves, bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshMilton, John, 1608-1674--Criticism and interpretationen_US
dc.titleThe heavenly dialogue: Milton and the traditionen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .B83 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .B83 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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