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Reference: Kahn, David (David Brian), (1995). Milton's monistic faith. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


Milton's monistic faith Subtitle: Tradition and translation in the minor poetry

Abstract: Faith for Milton is primarily a matter of man's access to God. Such access entails God'sinvolvement in mankind. Faith is that which guarantees that God is accessible to menand also that God actively participates in the lives of his people. Milton's work exhibitsa preoccupation with such a concept of faith, and wavers through the course of his lifebetween dualist and monist formulations. Monistic faith suggests that God is directlyaccessible to man, while dualistic faith means that God may only be accessible in amediated way.In the course of his career, Milton proceeded from an early dualistic faith to the declaredmonism of De Doctrina Christiana. This thesis examines the monistic impulse withinMilton's poetry, focusing on the poems written during his mid-career (c. 1637-1653)when his outlook on faith turned. The thesis finds that although Milton expresses hismonism in increasingly clear terms, he is never quite able to eliminate dualisticimplications or tendencies from his faith.The thesis focuses on two strategies which Milton employs in his attempts to define amonistic world view and a monistic faith, namely, tradition and translation. Thesestrategies represent points of confrontation between dualism and monism. They bothassert monistic continuity in the face of dualist disjunction. Tradition attempts toovercome the disjunction perceptible between two remote events in time. It incorporatesboth the recovery of lost history as well as geographical and linguistic translation.Translation (taken as separate from tradition) attempts to overcome the disjunctionbetween languages. It manages, however unsuccessfully, to carry meaning over from asource text to a target text while simultaneously altering every single word in the sourcetext.Both these strategies thus provide textual and linguistic means for examining Milton'sfaith or his sense of divine access. This thesis examines Milton's deployment of traditionby means of a close consideration of Lycidas as well as several other early poems. Itexamines his 1648 and 1653 psalm translations and the unique manner in which theyreveal Milton's understanding of faith. The thesis concludes that Milton's monistic faithnever quite breaks free of the dualist tendencies against which it struggles.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1995Identifiers

Urn: uuid:f6e2a08d-413f-4107-9eb6-290c5a83e879

Source identifier: 602337547 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Criticism and interpretation Religion Monism in literature Tiny URL: td:602337547


Author: Kahn, David David Brian - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of English Language and Literature - - - - Bibliographic



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