John Owens

Dr. John Owens SM



The Fall and “Modern” Philosophy

It has long been noticed that Milton’s understanding of the Fall in Paradise Lost reflects key moves in “modern” philosophy.  While Milton remains for the most part an orthodox believer in his presentation of the Christian story, aspects of his account reflect the new conceptual framework which is coming to birth in the seventeenth century. This results at times in serious tensions between the theological story and the means by which it is articulated, a tension that is exacerbated by other thinkers of the “modern” era. The paper will explore this conceptual tension as an example of the problems that “modern” thinking brings for traditional belief.


John Owens teaches philosophy at Te Kupenga Catholic Theological College, Auckland. His research interests are in the philosophy of Aristotle and in post-Nietzschean philosophy. He has a recent book on the American pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty, Rorty, Religion, and Metaphysics.