Category Archives: Literature

Law, Love, and Wrath in Dante’s Purgatorio Canto XVI

Arguably the center of the Divine Comedy, Canto XVI of the Purgatorio contains intriguing textual features which convey the themes of the work in memorable detail. This paper exposits the textual features of the Canto as a starting point for … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Leave a comment

Dante, Sin, Vice

In Dante’s Hell, people are punished for vices, not sins. In Limbo, the virtuous pagans are punished for their virtues (that is, not for what they did, but for what they didn’t do). Could this reflect Jesus’ saying that with … Continue reading

Posted in 13th Century, Dante, Literature | Leave a comment

Holding the Light Behind Him

In Canto XXII of the Purgatory, Dante has the pagan historian Statius tell the pagan poet Virgil that he, Virgil, had been instrumental in Statius’ conversion to Christianity. Dante had already noted that like many other great and virtuous pagans … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Leave a comment

“An Eschatology To Which History Itself Is Subservient” (II)

It’s been a couple of months since I wrote the first post with this title, so let me recap it. Dante engages in complex juxtapositions of mythological and historical figures in one and the same afterlife – the mythical heroes … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

Three Good Dante Articles

I happened across these three articles by a Protestant, James Tonkowich, on aspects of Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Taste To Acquire: Dante’s Paradise Love and Suffering in Dante’s Purgatory To Hell, With Dante One of the most interesting points I … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

The Loss of “the Old Unified Function”

Pointing out that Dante’s Divine Comedy is a multi-faceted work of “travel into regions which the audience could not reach but in whose existence they had a literal belief” and “a poetic expression of the current philosophy of the age” … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

“The Most Eloquent Singer of the Christian Idea”

So Pope Benedict XV called Dante in his encylical In Praeclara, given on April 30, 1921. It’s a nice letter, really, and short enough to justify reading it if you’re interested in Dante. Of course, the encyclical is interesting as … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

Bury Your Talent, Hurt the Community

Dante nicely expresses our duty as men to acknowledge our debts to our forebears and, using what they have given us, contribute something to the greater good: For all men whom the Higher Nature has endowed with a love of … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

Suicides in Dante’s Theology

Dante does some interesting things with suicides between the Inferno and the Purgatorio. In Canto XIII of the Inferno, Dante describes those guilty of committing suicide (a mortal sin in Medieval theology) as being characterized by intense self pity. Transformed … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off

Dante Vs. the Simoniacal Popes (II)

I’m currently working through Dante’s Purgatorio, but a few weeks ago, while still in the Inferno, I forgot to write this up, so here it is, a followup to “Dante Vs. the Simoniacal Popes.” In Canto XIX we meet various … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Literature | Comments Off