The first session of the Budapest Milton Seminar will take place in Room 104 of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Károli Gáspár University, from 6:00 p.m. on 11 March, 2019.

Alison A. Chapman, “Milton and the Baptists: The Immersive Religion of Paradise Regained.”


Critical readings of John Milton’s brief epic Paradise Regained have typically focused on its ambiguous ending when the Son of God stands miraculously atop the pinnacle of the Temple while Satan falls. This paper, instead, centers on the poem’s beginning and specifically on Milton’s decision to open with a depiction of full-body baptism in running water. This was a heretical practice in the early modern world, one associated with radical groups such as the Baptists and Anabaptists. By choosing to begin his poem with the Son’s immersion in the River Jordan, Milton reinforces views he expresses in De Doctrina Christiana, his unpublished theological masterwork, and he also offers a controversial vision of the true church.

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