Milton Now pp 69-80 | Cite as

Milton’s Capitalist Son of God? Temporality and Divine Order in De doctrina Christiana

  • Feisal G. Mohamed
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies book series (EMCSS)


If this volume invites us to reconsider Nyquist and Ferguson’s landmark collection, it also alerts us to the diverse ways in which contexts may be brought to bear upon literary texts.1 Infusing various theoretical energies into early modern studies, we find in the pages of Re-Membering Milton Richard Bradford’s historically informed close reading of “graphic poetics,” John Guillory’s application of Adorno to Samson Agonistes, Chris Kendrick’s characteristically rich psychoanalytic reading of the Ludlow masque, Abbe Blum’s materialist examination of Areopagitica in its immediate milieu, and Mary Nyquist’s spotless and seminal feminist analysis of the divorce tracts and Paradise Lost. Like any work of intellectual energy, Nyquist and Ferguson’s leaves us wondering if we are worthy heirs of its possibilities. And that wondering must light upon the historical approaches to literature now firmly regnant in scholarship on literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Historicism has become in the past 25 years far too compelling a source of scholarship and criticism to be discounted or dismissed—and fears of it being inimical to an appreciation of literariness were proven to be unfounded long ago—so that we should all be loath to use the phrase, “The problem with historicism today is…” But that tetchy clause might persuasively be adapted to the limitation of any dominant mode of criticism: that it can feel like a set of routinized maneuvers all-but bereft of reflexivity and supple attentiveness to broader intellectual currents.


Queer Theory Paradise Lost Revolutionary Action Messianic Time Visible Universe 
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© Catharine Gray and Erin Murphy 2014

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  • Feisal G. Mohamed

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