Friday, July 21, 2006

Benjamin Myers on Milton's Freedom

Benjamin Myers
(Reflecting Ben's Image)

Benjamin Myers, over at his blog Faith and Theology, announces the release of his new book, Milton's Theology of Freedom, which I've been eagerly anticipating ever since he first informed us many moons ago that it was slated for publication.

Here are the chapter headings:

1. The Theology of Freedom: A Short History

2. The Satanic Theology of Freedom

3. Predestination and Freedom

4. The Freedom of God

5. Human Freedom and the Fall

6. Grace, Conversion and Freedom

Myers provides an excerpt from the "Preface," which you can read to get a foretaste of the intellectual feast offered. Here's a scent of the foretaste:
In two respects, ... this book is a study of freedom: it is a study of Milton's theological vision of freedom in Paradise Lost; and it is also a study of the freedom of Milton's own theological creativity as embodied in the poem.
I suppose that this sort of book doesn't appeal to everyone (and at a cost of $99.90, it won't), but Milton scholars will want to read it. I'm therefore quite interested, and as faithful readers will recall, I've discussed Milton's views on free will several times on this blog. I've also published a couple of articles on the issue, as some may have noted from my blog roll:
"Free-Will Theodicy, Middle-Knowledge Theology, Ramist Linguistics, and Satanic Psychology in Paradise Lost" (pdf)

"Economy of Damnation: Satan's Fall in Paradise Lost" (

My own work traces Milton's views on free will to the Spanish Jesuit theologian Luis Molina, but if I recall correctly from an email inquiry that I made, Myers doesn't look into this connection. Myers will certainly have dealt with the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius, however, and Arminius is indebted to the great Spanish thinker, so I expect to learn a lot.

I've just got to convince Korea University's library to shell out US $99.90 for a book that maybe only I will read...

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At 7:29 AM, Blogger Ben Myers said...

Many thanks for this, Jeffery. I think there is a page or two about Molina -- but Arminius himself features prominently throughout the whole book.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ben, thanks for correcting my memory, which doesn't always recall promptly or properly.

Anyway, I look forward to reading your book.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:23 AM, Blogger Chris Donato said...

So . . . those PDF links of yours are broken. Deeply interested in the middle knowledge/Milton connection. Not much published material out there on the link.


At 5:35 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sorry about the broken links -- I've been unable to find the article online.

The article on "Free-Will . . ." isn't so helpful, for I didn't know much Milton back then, but if you provide an address, I can send an offprint.

Jeffery Hodges

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