The theology of freedom in Paradise Lost

Myers, Benjamin (2004) The theology of freedom in Paradise Lost. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Milton scholarship remains divided between characterisations of Paradise Lost’s theology as either “orthodox” or “heretical.” In this study I situate Paradise Lost within its complex post-Reformation context, and I argue that its theology is more variegated and more elusive than either straightforwardly orthodox or straightforwardly heretical readings have tended to suggest. This study pursues the theological portrayal of freedom as it unfolds throughout Paradise Lost, and seeks to identify and explore the ways in which the poem’s theology is continuous and discontinuous with the major post-Reformation theological traditions. By teasing out the complexities of this theology and the distinctive manner in which it draws on diverse post-Reformation traditions, this study offers a nuanced reading of the poem which allows its theology to emerge clearly on its own terms. In particular, this reading of Paradise Lost highlights the poem’s profound commitment to both human and divine freedom. It is this commitment which underlies the poem’s appropriation and reformulation of a wide range of existing theological concepts in its unique and compelling account of the idea of freedom.

Item ID: 1157
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Milton, Paradise Lost, Post-Reformation context, Theological portrayal of freedom, Major post-Reformation theological traditions, Profound commitment to both human and divine freedom
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2006
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature @ 0%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200525 Literary Theory @ 0%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl Biblical Studies and Church History) @ 0%
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