John Milton

Michael Lieb

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 John Milton

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The scholarship on Milton's theology is immense, in part because Milton is essentially a theological poet. Despite the plethora of books and articles devoted to various aspects of Milton's doctrinal beliefs, the question of how to read his works theologically has not received the attention it deserves. Knowing Milton's views and reading his works are two different enterprises. In order to address the second issue, one must determine precisely what a ‘theological reading’ of Milton's works entails. In the case of the Miltonic œuvre, the answers to such questions have long involved recourse to the De Doctrina Christiana. Although readers were either delighted with or horrified by the various heterodoxies evinced by the treatise, at least they felt that they had a ‘handle’ on Milton's putative theological beliefs as manifested in the poetry.

Keywords: theological poet; Milton's theology; De Doctrina Christiana; theological reading; Paradise Lost

Article.  9338 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity ; Philosophy of Religion

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