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Milton's Vision

This is an important and invaluable book which through concentrating on Milton's religious vision highlights his relevance to the core issues of our day.No writer is so grudgingly admired. He wrote great poetry, goes the received wisdom, but his creed was narrow, chilling, inhuman. He was a Puritan. This toxic label implies that he supported an authoritarian form of Protestantism that was intent on imposing itself upon the nation, banning its fun, policing its very thoughts. This says the author is one of the oddest reputations in the entire history of ideas. No contemporary opposed religious authoritarianism with such vehemence. No one was so adamant that political freedom is built into the Christian gospel.This book concentrates on Milton's religious vision and is more concerned with his prose than his poetry. He insisted that Protestantism was compatible with political liberty - that the two causes are complimentary. This was a new vision. By treating all ecclesiastical authority with suspicion, he helped to establish the modern ideal of secularism. He was a Christian libertarian who wanted every form of church to wither away, so that the Gospel might be completely free of coercion. The book is thus a vital contribution to the debate about the place of religion in public life. It will appeal to those interested in the history of political thought, especially the concept of liberalism as well all those with an interest in religion and literature. There has never been a study of Milton that highlights his relevance to the core issues of our day: how religion gives rise to and interacts with secular ideals. Milton should be living at this hour. We have need of him.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The Broken Revolution; 2. A Literary Calling; 3. Taking Sides; 4. The Idea of a Free Christian Society; 5. The Epics; 6. The Purloined Legacy.

About the Author

Mr Hobson has published a number of books and also writes regularly for The Times, The Tablet and The Spectator.


"Theo Hobson takes no prisoners in his enthusiasm for Milton. This is a vigorous pen-portrait of one of Protestantism's greatest writers which has the great virtues of taking his Protestantism seriously, and of saying without any hesitation that Milton's Protestantism speaks to the modern Western world as much as it did to the tyrants and tidy-minded ideologues of his own day." Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, Theology Faculty, University of Oxford. 'A study written with a racy style and wit [...] but with a very serious point at its heart.' Baptist Times, March 2009 Review in The Independent. 'Milton never published a systematic account of Christian liberty; Hobson duly compensates.' Church Times, February 2009 "A worthy addition to the literature on Milton" - Catholic Herald "The author's passion communicates itself to the reader, and he gives a stirring, lucid account of this extraordinary writer." - The Tablet Title mention in The Times. Review in The Tablet, January 2009 Title mention in author's own article in The Tablet, January 2009 "Hobson is a lively writer and Milton's work, especially the prose, is dealt with swiftly and vigorously." Methodist Recorder, 9 April 2009 "The author is well-known as an indepenent-minded critic of positions and people not often questioned in his particularly creative way ... His current topic, Milton, challenges those religious souls who embrace the subject as 'their type of Protestant' to juggle another thesis from the same man, namely that Protestantism per se equates with political liberty ... it is well written, worth reading."The Church of Ireland Gazette, April 2009 "The main value of the book is that Hobson is a fan, a true believer, and this is a rollicking read for those who reckon that liberal Protestantism, freedom and a due agnostisicm towards doctrinal orthodoxy hold the secret of the world's salvation... The analysis of the ways in which Milton in Paradise Lost and Nabokov in Lolita intertwine the themes of sex, goodness and evil is almost worth the price of the book in itself." - David Cornick, Reform, April 2009--Sanford Lakoff

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