Anxiety in Eden: A Kierkegaardian Reading of Paradise Lost

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byJohn S. Tanner

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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 includeanxiety--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 prelapsarianknowledge. 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 awork 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.

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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...

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 includeanxiety--along with pain, suffering, and paradox--with...

John S. Tanner is at Brigham Young University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.62 × 5.83 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195072049

ISBN - 13:9780195072044

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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 hisability to combine the languages of the academy and the Spirit, of reason and faith."--BYU Studies