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Teaching Dante in the History of Christian Theology
Open AccessArticle

“Florentino Ariza Sat Bedazzled”: Initiating an Exploration of Literary Texts with Dante in the Undergraduate Seminar

Augustine and Culture Seminar Program, Villanova University, 800 E. Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
Religions 2019, 10(9), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090496
Received: 16 March 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 22 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Dante)
Dante’s Commedia provides a useful context or “frame” for a discussion of love in literature from the Middle Ages to the present day in the undergraduate seminar. Selected cantos of the Commedia can initiate an examination of love—lust, romantic love, caritas—and provide ways to analyze depictions of love by important authors. For example, Inferno Cantos I and III introduce the concept of the “journey”—Dante’s through the three realms of the afterlife, and our “journey” through a series of texts to be read over one semester. Dante’s education in Inferno constitutes an understanding of sin and of hell as the farthest place from God and His love. Moreover, in Canto I of Paradiso, Dante reiterates that God and His love can be found throughout creation “in some places more and in others less” (I: 3), and he concludes his poem with a vision of God and of the entire universe as moved by His love. Six great authors—Francis of Assisi, Vittoria Colonna, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Flannery O’Connor, and Gabriel García Márquez—articulate in their own words this very human experience of love, of loving something or loving someone. In the process, they illuminate both Dante’s experience in the afterlife and ours in the modern world. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dante; Divine Comedy; pedagogy; interdisciplinarity; literary studies; undergraduate seminar; great books; love; caritas Dante; Divine Comedy; pedagogy; interdisciplinarity; literary studies; undergraduate seminar; great books; love; caritas
MDPI and ACS Style

Faggioli, S. “Florentino Ariza Sat Bedazzled”: Initiating an Exploration of Literary Texts with Dante in the Undergraduate Seminar. Religions 2019, 10, 496.

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