The Narrative Spirituality of Dante’s Divine Comedy

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The Narrative Spirituality of Dante’s Divine Comedy

  • Holy Apostles College and Seminary
15 20-Minute Lectures (5 CDs)
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Availability: In stock.

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Take a powerful—and philosophical—journey through heaven, hell, and purgatory.

Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is among the last great works of medieval Europe, and it translates the thought of the Middle Ages into an exciting narrative. Seven centuries later, it remains the most successful merger of theology and philosophy in epic poetry.

In The Narrative Spirituality of Dante’s Divine Comedy, you’ll gain a philosophical and literary understanding of Dante’s masterpiece. You’ll first and foremost study the book as a narrativization of the works of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. But beyond its Scholastic synthesis of faith and reason, the Divine Comedy is also a great story. Dante the pilgrim descends to the bottom of Hell, climbs to the top of Purgatory, and soars straight to God in this cosmic thriller.

You’ll devote five lectures to each of the three parts of the Divine Comedy: the Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso. With each section, you’ll learn how to understand Dante’s structural elements, and you’ll engage in close readings and reflections. Literature expert Dr. Sebastian Mahfood is the Virgil for your odyssey, and he presents each lecture with wisdom and enthusiasm.

As you will come to understand, Dante’s knowledge of ancient philosophy and the Divine imbued him with the fullness of faith and reason. By walking with Dante, you’ll deepen your faith, knowledge of philosophy, and love of literature.

Accompany Dante on his journey today.

Learn about downloadable programs.

Topic Titles
Topic Titles
  • The Narrative Setting: Troughs of Allegory and Metaphor
  • The Ethical Setting: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
  • The Floor-Plan of Hell: The Disintegration of Community
           and the Stuntedness of Vice
  • The Lesson Plan of Hell: Contrapasso and Allegory
  • A Narrative Reading of the 9th Circle
  • The Narrative Setting: Cornices of Whips and Reins
  • The Background Story: La Vita Nuova
  • The Floor-Plan of Purgatory: The Rise of Community
           and the Growth in Virtue
  • Purgatory’s Tropology: The Hand-Off to Beatrice
  • A Narrative Reading of a Few Purgatorial Cantos
  • The Narrative Setting: Spheres of Grace
  • The Floor-Plan of Paradise: Casting Deep into the Net
  • Paradiso's Soteriology: Beatrice, the Screen Lady
  • A Narrative Reading of the Empyrean Cantos
  • A Review of Our Journey
About Your Presenter

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, O.P., Ph.D., is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Vice-President of External Affairs and Governmental Compliance at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. He holds a doctorate in literature from Saint Louis University along with several master’s degrees in the fields of comparative literature, philosophy, theology, and educational technology. He is the author of Radical Eschatologies: Embracing the Eschaton in the Works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Nuruddin Farah, and Ayi Kwei Armah (St. Louis University, 2006) and the co-author (with Ronda Chervin) of Catholic Realism: A Framework for Refuting Atheism and Evangelizing the Atheists (En Route Books and Media, 2015). He is a lay Dominican of the Queen of the Holy Rosary Chapter in the Province of St. Albert the Great.

Praise for Dr. Mahfood

“Sebastian Mahfood is an engaging, enthusiastic lecturer with a probing interest in everything from medieval literature and theology to post-modern Arab writings. He developed an online course on Dante’s Divine Comedy, which was enthusiastically received. I am happy to see that this course will now be available to the general public.”
– Rev. Msgr. Michael John Witt, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Customer Reviews (0)
Very detailed and thoughtful. It gets to depths of Dante that other classes rarely do.
I had to take a lot of notes while listening to the lecture. I teach Dante myself, and I found the professors insights invaluable. Review by Ry (Posted on 11/2/2018)
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