Class Year

2019

Date

4-15-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Religion

First Advisor

Ben Zeller

Second Advisor

Carla Arnell

Third Advisor

Anna Jones

Abstract

Paradise Lost is a literary masterpiece that spans both cultural and religious lines. Recently, many scholars have taken an interest in similarities between the Christian epic poem and Islamic beliefs, and many Muslims report an interest in and identify with Paradise Lost. Curiously, however, Islam appears to lack a comparable dramatization of the expulsion of humans from the Garden of Eden. This project seeks first, to propose a possible orthodox Sunni theology in sixteenth-century Anatolia, and second, to speculate how Paradise Lost would have been different if it had emerged out of this cultural context, rather than seventeenth-century England. Through this speculative thought experiment, this thesis critically demonstrates where Muslim and Christian theologies are similar. Finally, reflecting on early modern Muslim and Christian approaches to religious tolerance, these similarities lend insight into the irony of early modern English othering of Muslims.

Language

English


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