Reading Dantes Commedia as Theology: Divinity Realized in Human Encounter

Hardcover | July 15, 2016

byVittorio Montemaggi

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Dante's Commedia compels readers to confront the mystery of their existence, to seek understanding of their relationship to the living conscious reality from which all possible experience arises. By pursuing these lines of inquiry, says Vittorio Montemaggi, readers can reach an ultimatereality that Dante calls love. Montemaggi offers a detailed theological reading of the Commedia, examining the theme of human interaction, both as it is represented in the poem - the narrator Dante's interaction with other characters - and by the relationship between author and reader. In doing so, he locates a Dante we may notbe used to imagining, a man aware both of the spiritual power of his work, and of his profound, essential vulnerability and moral failing. Montemaggi shows that, for this Dante, truth emerges only through human limitation and failure, and not in spite of it.Applying this interpretive framework to a reflection on the methodology of scholarship itself, Montemaggi offers a vision of what the academy could be - not individual scholars in competition with others, but a community that seeks to foster the understanding that can arise through interaction,vulnerability, and love. His vision constitutes a benign challenge to some of the ethos and practices of the modern academy, while simultaneously reflecting on the dynamics of one of the most inspiring and influential texts ever written about the relationship between humanity and divinity.

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Dante's Commedia compels readers to confront the mystery of their existence, to seek understanding of their relationship to the living conscious reality from which all possible experience arises. By pursuing these lines of inquiry, says Vittorio Montemaggi, readers can reach an ultimatereality that Dante calls love. Montemaggi offers a...

Vittorio Montemaggi is Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also Concurrent Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology. Following degrees in Theology and in European Literature, his work has centered on the relationship ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190495464

ISBN - 13:9780190495466

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"Reading Dante's Commedia as Theology is a remarkable achievement, one which is distinctive for both its interdisciplinary charge and its powerful close reading of Dante's Commedia. Bringing into close dialogue the fields of Dante studies, religion and literature, and theology, Montemaggieloquently demonstrates how Dante's great poem might and can be read as theology. In so doing, he provides richly focused analyses of questions related to love, justice, truth, prayer, and salvation, and explores how the 'dynamics of human interaction' permeate the poem and define the nature ofdivinity as it is realized in human encounter." --Simon Gilson, Professor of Italian, University of Warwick