Milton's Good God : A Study in Literary Theodicy
Few writers have achieved the synthesis of art and idea that was attained by John Milton in Paradise Lost. In that work the poet addressed one of the most important questions in philosophy and religion: How could God, if he is omnipotent and wholly good, have made a world in which there is so much evil? In this book Professor Danielson examines Paradise Lost, focusing on Milton's treatment of creation, chaos, predestination, free will, God's foreknowledge, the Fall of Man and the nature of human existence before the Fall. The author thereby not only lays a systematic foundation for understanding Milton's defence of the creator's justice and goodness but also explores how the literary character of that defence gives it a unique human vitality, dramatic consistency and logical coherence. Milton's Good God is an interdisciplinary study, which will lead the student of literature to a deeper appreciation of Paradise Lost while drawing the student of ideas to a fuller awareness of the importance of Milton's work for the fields of philosophy, theology and intellectual history.
- Electronic book text
- 11 May 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Preface; 1. The contexts of Milton's theodicy; 2. God and chaos; 3. Assertion and justification: providence and theodicy; 4. Milton and the Free Will Defence; 5. Theodicy, free will and determinism; 6. Eden and the 'soul-making' theodicy; 7. Paradise Lost and the unfortunate fall; Epilogue; Appendix: The unfortunate soul of Satan; Notes; Selected bibliography; Index.