Interview with Tommaso Todesca – and his 100 videos on the Divine Comedy!

In our latest episode we’re having our first guest on our podcast! We’re very happy to present for you Tommaso Todesca in LA, who’s currently making an excellent video series on the Divine Comedy on his youtube channel.

We’ll discuss the role that Dante is playing in his life, and favorite scenes and discoveries from each of the three canticles. Continue reading “Interview with Tommaso Todesca – and his 100 videos on the Divine Comedy!”

Dante’s Plea to return the Papacy to Rome

As we saw in an earlier post about Dante Alighieri’s letter to the Italian Cardinals in 1314, where he defended himself against the charge that he was metaphorically touching the Holy Ark with his criticisms of the Church, the main thrust of his Epistle XI is however directed more towards high-level politics, and an effort to encourage the Italian Cardinals to elect an Italian Pope and start the process of returning the Papacy back to its original place, to remove it from Avignon in France, and back to its home place in Rome. Continue reading “Dante’s Plea to return the Papacy to Rome”

Dante’s Relationship to Scripture, and to the Church

While Dante is sometimes thought to be attacking both the Church and Christendom itself in the Divine Comedy, it could be helpful to clarify and separate Dante’s very positive relationship to the Scripture and to the Spiritual Life, from his negative and at times aggressively hostile one towards the contemporary Church and the Institution of the Papacy in the 13th and 14th century.

Dante himself was therefore sometimes accused by the Church of having assumed the role of Uzzah from the Old Biblical stories, who touched the Holy Ark whilst in transportation from Abinadab to Jerusalem with a cart and oxen, and who was struck dead at the spot in 2 Samuel 6:6-7: Continue reading “Dante’s Relationship to Scripture, and to the Church”

How Love moves things to Rest

Excellent conversation about Paradiso Canto 1, by Patrick Boyde (University of Cambridge) and John Bruce-Jones (StantonMarris).

Among the many highlights is the idea of the Hermeneutic Circle regarding reading Dante; that one needs to understand the overall picture to understand the elements, but one needs to understand the elements in order to understand the overall picture. Which is what we have sometimes referred to here as the metaphor of “mosaic” in understanding Dante; gradually one learns the smaller pieces and cantos, and then gradually an overall image and world emerges out of the whole Poem. Continue reading “How Love moves things to Rest”