Milton, John (1608-1674) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Approach and Method

Milton was essentially a religious and ethical thinker, and his views are a striking blend of Christian humanism and Puritanism. The fullest statement of his position is De Doctrina Christiana, which was complete in all but certain details by 1660.

Milton believed that the Bible is divine revelation, plain and perspicuous in all things necessary to salvation. In matters of religion Scripture is the only outward rule or authority, and conscience, illuminated by the spirit of God, the only guide within. This scrupulous biblicism, however, is linked (as in Socinianism) with a strong emphasis on reason. Conscience, even when illuminated by the spirit, operates in rational terms rather than through mystical insight, so that "right reason" becomes the guide to Scripture. At the heart of this view, authorizing yet limiting the role of reason, is the doctrine that Scripture is an accommodation of God's will...

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This section contains 2,846 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Milton, John (1608-1674) Encyclopedia Article
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Milton, John (1608-1674) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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