Article

Disestablishment, Toleration, the New Testament Nation: Milton's Late Religious Tracts

Elizabeth Sauer

in The Oxford Handbook of Milton

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697885
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697885.013.0018

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Disestablishment, Toleration, the New Testament Nation: Milton's Late Religious Tracts

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This article explores the conjunctions between toleration and nationhood in the late religious tracts A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes (1659) and Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings Out of the Church, and in related literature by John Milton's contemporaries. Milton's theory of toleration is discussed in terms of the relationships between spiritual and temporal authority and the biblical precedents he puts forth for imagining the nation. The concepts of Protestant nationhood and citizenship that distinguish Milton's 1659 religious tracts are thus derived from a reformulation of the Old–New Israel parallel. Milton establishes the case for toleration negatively in arguing against Popish tyranny. The article seeks to assess the competing and correspondent relationships of toleration and nationhood in the pre- and early Restoration years, as negotiated in Milton's late religious tracts.

Keywords: toleration; nationhood; John Milton; Ecclesiastical Causes; Remove Hirelings; Restoration years

Article.  8637 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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