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The temptations of politics: Jesus’ temptation and ours in John Milton’s Paradise Regained

Authors
  • Plant, Stephen J.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Holiness
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Apr 05, 2020
Volume
2
Issue
2
Pages
187–209
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/holiness-2016-0005
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

This paper aims to shed light on the ways in which politics can be a site of temptation for Christians. In the first part, it explores the circumstances in which John Milton wrote Paradise Regained, printed in 1671. The poem may be understood, in part, as Milton’s reflection on the failed politics of the Republic in which he had played a leading role as a civil servant and one of the Republic’s chief propagandists. The second part of the argument offers a reading of Milton’s poetic account of the story of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, which interprets Jesus’ temptations politically as a series of attempts by Satan to deflect Jesus’ messianic identity, revealed at his Baptism, from its true course.

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