By William Poole
John Milton produced the main brilliant poetic account ever written of the biblical Fall of guy in Paradise misplaced (1667). William Poole provides a finished research of the beginning, evolution, and modern debate at the Fall, and how seventeenth-century authors, fairly Milton, represented it. Poole first examines the diversity and intensity of early sleek inspiration at the topic, then explains and evaluates the root of the assumption and the highbrow and theological controversies it encouraged from early Christian instances to Milton's personal century.
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Additional info for Milton and the Idea of the Fall
39 Calvin emphasises man’s creaturely station under ‘the yoke of God’; man does not require any great intelligence in order to subsist in his given moral and intellectual stratum with ambitionless humility. ’40 Calvin, like Luther, united the straying ideas of man as created upright and man as bending down in the now familiar trope of pendency: ‘Adam therefore might haue stande [sic] if he wold, because he fell not but by his owne wil. ’41 This spare account, Eve nowhere in sight, provided the template for subsequent English discussions, many of which we have encountered in the form of catechisms or summae.
Because he didn’t want to. And why he didn’t want to is his business. 11). 22 Again, R. F. Brown, in his powerful and negative critique of Augustine on evil, notes that the unfallen angels appear to have been created with that assurance, and therefore literally determined not to sin. 13). The Augustinian Fall, then, is a complicated and indeed somewhat mysterious thing. 24 He inherited, refined, authorised and transmitted a set of decisions about the angelic and human falls more influential than any other comparable set – indeed, he effectively blocked the possibility of organised opposition in the West for many centuries, and dissent almost always took the form of modification rather than rejection.
The early moderns, though, possessed no complete printed translations of either The Trinity, or, of more relevance here, the mature Literal Commentary on Genesis, but access to Latin editions of these and other works was not problematic, and Augustine’s later thought on the Fall could easily be extracted from the middle books of the City of God. Reformed teaching was in any case largely based upon Augustinian sources, and the brand of Calvinism that reached England in the sixteenth century, particularly through the mediation of Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr and Theodore Beza, had a recognisably Augustinian attitude to the Fall.
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