The Nature of Milton's Son and his Justification of Men's Ways to God: Things Indifferent?

Russell M. Hillier

in Milton's Messiah

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199591886
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725326 | DOI:
The Nature of Milton's Son and his Justification of Men's Ways to God: Things Indifferent?

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


Show Summary Details


This chapter examines Milton's theological and poetic treatment of the Son of God and the work of salvation and challenges the prevailing trend in Milton studies that Milton's theology adheres to Arian, Socinian, or psilanthropic tenets. De Doctrina Christiana and Milton's poetry predicate human restoration upon divine grace and do not regard the doctrine of redemption as a ‘thing indifferent’. Milton's Christology and soteriology cannot be reconciled with Arianism in either a historical or a technical sense. Christology necessarily entails soteriology and Milton's understanding of the incarnate Son as theanthropos or ‘God-man’ establishes the importance of Christ's mediatorial role. Milton's conception of the pernicious effects of human sin invalidates an exemplarist, subjective atonement and depends instead upon a unique, objective atonement. The major poetry and the treatise rigorously account for the redemption along largely orthodox lines, adopting conventional soteriological metaphors of satisfaction, ransom, sacrifice, and penalty and espousing the reconciliation of divine justice and mercy.

Keywords: Son of God; mystery; Christology; soteriology; Arianism; Socinianism; exemplarism; sin; justice; mercy

Chapter.  14823 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.