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Classical Dante: Rome and the Two Kingdoms

In Paradiso 6 Justinian expounds the Roman Empire’s divine mission and the state’s role as God’s servant. These ideas, found in Comedy and Monarchia, anticipate the Two Kingdoms of Luther and Calvin and the American separation of church and state.

Christian Dante

In Paradiso 12 Dante says God rescued Christendom “through grace alone” (per sola grazia). Guido da Montefeltro (inferno 27) and his son Buonconte (Purgatorio 5) exemplify God’s grace, a theme that permeates the Comedy.

Philosophy of Biology: From Dante to Darwin

This seminar will survey how change in thought and growth in knowledge from the Middle Ages into the 19th century led to Darwin’s theory of evolution. We will explore the shift from the motivating ideal of love to struggle and competition as well as the shift from sacramental participation to nothing but mechanistic motion. Particular […]

The Music of the Spheres: Dante’s Pre- Copernican Universe

Dante’s Divine Comedy presupposes a universe and a perspective on that universe that is radically different than our own. Aside from positing the earth as the center, Dante and his contemporaries conceived of a perfectly ordered, innately poetic cosmos of exquisite beauty, balance, and harmony. Even more vitally, they beheld in the starry heavens a […]