Milton's Scriptural Theology
Milton's Scriptural Theology
Confronting De Doctrina Christiana
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Table of Contents
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Foreword: Milton’s Personal Best Preliminaries: Authorship, Medium, Audience Chapter One: Milton’s Address to Readers PART ONE: MATERIALS Chapter Two: Axioms Chapter Three: The Biblical Citations Chapter Four: Working from Wollebius Chapter Five: Named Theologians as Interlocutors PART TWO: ARTS OF LANGUAGE Chapter Six: Philology Chapter Seven: Pagan Allusions Chapter Eight: Pronouns PART THREE: TRINITY Chapter Nine: Milton’s De Filio Chapter Ten: Theologies Compared Appendix One: Further Etymologies Appendix Two: Hobbes and Dryden Bibliography

Reviews and Features

"Hale’s close linguistic attention and clarity of writing make his book coherent and accessible. All readers can be grateful to him for the work he has done to bring Milton’s Latin text back into widespread discussion."
- David Norbrook, Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature, Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford, Erudition and the Republic of Letters 6 (2021)

John K. Hale

Milton's Scriptural Theology

Confronting De Doctrina Christiana

Milton spoke of De Doctrina as "my best and most precious possession" (haec, quibus nihil melius aut pretiosius habeo). In this book, John K. Hale confronts De Doctrina as Milton’s "best", and in many senses personal, contribution to theology.

Its theology is distinctive in several unorthodoxies, and their zestful advocacy; and in some orthodoxies too, like his measured account of Predestination. At the very least, De Doctrina is Milton’s one and only worked-out Credo. And it figures, albeit belatedly, in histories of the great mid-century Trinitarian debate: it is on the wider map of theology; it counts.

Through close reading of the Latin itself, the author assesses the work and its aim, its degrees of success and its by-products, as these reveal Milton at his "personal best." While to a candid appraisal“or to historians or methodologists of theology“his best might not seem the very best ever, this work remains unutterably precious to Milton, and close reading reveals the passion and energy of his mind in its acts of thought. To understand the personal dimension of Milton’s theology is to understand, and evaluate, his mind in action.
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John K. Hale

John K. Hale is an Honorary Fellow of the Department of English at the University of Otago.