Time and Temptation in Paradise Regained: Belief and the Single Image
There is not much sense of history in Richard Crashaw. As a Neo-Platonist he simply does not engage as a problem the historical facts of the saints’ lives with which he deals.1 The enduring and transcendent significance of a life as exemplar is, for Crashaw, what really matters. Yet Christianity has always insisted on joining Crashaw’s kind of Platonic speculation with the Hebrew sense of uniqueness in temporal events, even though the measures in which the ingredients are mixed have varied a great deal in the history of Christian thought.2 In the early church, which lived with a strong sense of impending apocalypse, history was especially important, whereas the church of the high Middle Ages, dominated by Platonism, stressed more firmly the a-temporal quality of saving truth. The central rite of the mass in particular symbolised a continuing transection of time by eternity, and the resultant sacramental emphasis highlighted a conception of the world structured hierarchically towards the changeless Ideas in whose image the realm of shifting material things was created.
KeywordsDementia Assure Bark Lost Milton
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