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The Alternative TrinityGnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake$
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The late A. D. Nuttall

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184621.001.0001

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(p.71) III Milton
The Alternative Trinity

A. D. Nuttall

Oxford University Press

Milton — long thought to be England's second-greatest poet, author of the principal English justification of God the Creator, systematic misogynist, classicist, Puritan — presents himself in De Doctrina Christiana as an Arian heretic, that is, far from exalting the Son above the Father, as earlier figures in this book have done, he violently reverses the picture; he erases the egalitarian orthodox Trinity and exalts the Father above the Son. This chapter explores Milton's theology by the side door of his poetry. It attempts to engage in a different manner with the principal matter at issue: the goodness or otherwise of the Creator, the wickedness or otherwise of Adam and Eve in eating from the tree of knowledge.

Keywords:   Milton, poet, theology, Trinity, De Doctrina Christiana, Arianism

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