Anxiety in Eden: A Kierkegaardian Reading of Paradise Lost

by John S. Tanner

Oxford University Press | April 30, 1999 | Hardcover

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Tanner uses Kierkegaard''s thought, particularly his theory of anxiety, to enrich and enliven a bold new reading of Milton''s Paradise Lost. He argues that for Milton and Kierkegaard, the path to sin and to salvation lies through anxiety, that both the poet and the philosopher include anxiety--along with pain, suffering, and paradox--within the compass of paradise. The first half of the work explores anxiety in Eden before the Fall, providing fresh perspectives on such issues as free will, the problem of a fall before the Fall, original sin, the etiology of evil, and prelapsarian knowledge. The second half examines anxiety after the Fall, offering original insights into such issues as the demonic personality, remorse, despair, and faith. Taken as a whole, Tanner''s study provides a coherent new existentialist reading of Paradise Lost. Further, though intended primarily as a work of literary criticism, the book touches on matters of broad philosophical, theological, and simply human interest--such as the nature of freedom, knowledge, sin, the self, and salvation.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.62 × 5.83 × 0.83 in

Published: April 30, 1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0195072049

ISBN - 13: 9780195072044

Found in: Fiction and Literature, Mood Disorders

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Anxiety in Eden: A Kierkegaardian Reading of Paradise Lost

by John S. Tanner

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.62 × 5.83 × 0.83 in

Published: April 30, 1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0195072049

ISBN - 13: 9780195072044

From the Publisher

Tanner uses Kierkegaard''s thought, particularly his theory of anxiety, to enrich and enliven a bold new reading of Milton''s Paradise Lost. He argues that for Milton and Kierkegaard, the path to sin and to salvation lies through anxiety, that both the poet and the philosopher include anxiety--along with pain, suffering, and paradox--within the compass of paradise. The first half of the work explores anxiety in Eden before the Fall, providing fresh perspectives on such issues as free will, the problem of a fall before the Fall, original sin, the etiology of evil, and prelapsarian knowledge. The second half examines anxiety after the Fall, offering original insights into such issues as the demonic personality, remorse, despair, and faith. Taken as a whole, Tanner''s study provides a coherent new existentialist reading of Paradise Lost. Further, though intended primarily as a work of literary criticism, the book touches on matters of broad philosophical, theological, and simply human interest--such as the nature of freedom, knowledge, sin, the self, and salvation.

About the Author

John S. Tanner is at Brigham Young University.

From Our Editors

Tanner draws on the philosophic character of Milton's poetry and the poetic nature of Kierkegaard's philosophy, particularly his theory of anxiety, to enrich and enliven a bold new reading of Milton's Paradise Lost. Proposing that Milton and Kierkegaard were remarkably similar in temperament, life-experience, and ideological commitment, Tanner argues that for both Christian writers the path to sin and to salvation lies through anxiety--that both the poet and the philosopher include anxiety, along with pain, suffering, and paradox, within the compass of paradise. Both Milton's Paradise Lost and Kierkegaard's The Concept of Anxiety explore the psychology of innocence, sin, and guilt, probing the nature of human fallibility and freedom. The first half of the work explores anxiety in Eden before the Fall. This section provides fresh perspectives on such issues as free will, the problem of a fall before the Fall, original sin, the etiology of evil, and prelapsarian knowledge. The second half examines anxiety after the Fall, offering original insights into such issues a

Editorial Reviews

"There is good reason for readers of the journal to know about this valuable contribution to our understanding of important philosophical, psychological, and doctrinal issues.... Not only is Tanner''s insight into the works of two great Christian writers of value, but the book also reflects his ability to combine the languages of the academy and the Spirit, of reason and faith."--BYU Studies
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