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Dante’s Christianity

Posted in History, Poems, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2017 by Drogo

Christian Hell, Purgatory, & Heaven

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was a major Italian poet for writing a very famous religious fantasy book called ‘The Divine Comedy’. Dante is called the ‘Founder of Italian’ because he wrote in Tuscan vernacular ‘vulgar’ dialect, rather than traditional or ‘proper’ Latin. Dante used a poetic literature style for his novel, which used the 3-line rhyme scheme (terza rima). Dante’s depictions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven have inspired a large body of religious art, and influenced Christianity itself. His ‘Divine Comedy‘ represents the medieval mind combining religious and romantic imagery. Dante’s quest for his ideal love ‘Beatrice’ represents the soul’s journey towards God. Dante draws the reader into his transcendent fictional memoir by sharing common life phases, famous and infamous names, and biographical details. Dante called it a ‘comedy’ because the plot proceeds from turmoil to a happy ending; but the story is certainly a mixture of many genres. Fans that refer to it as ‘The Inferno‘ are usually most fascinated by the horrible torture scenes in Hell. Fear of Hell is very compelling for many Christians, fed by the classic ‘fire & brimstone’ sermons. Purgatory is similar to the torture myths of Sisyphus and Prometheus, with a spiral upwards. The Garden of Eden crowns its summit. The 7 deadly sins are cleansed in Purgatory, so loving sinners can earn going to Heaven. Heaven is made of celestial rings crowned by the golden Empyrean pyramid containing the essence of God. There are 9 ring levels each with 1 final chief control center, for a total of 10 layers per realm.

Dante’s book is similar to classical adventures in Hades, where the hero visits the realm of the dead and returns to the land of the living to tell the tale; except for Catholics there are 3 realms of the dead where heavenly ‘Paradise’ seems not within the Underworld, and with Purgatory takes the place of Mount Olympus. There are references to the Roma-Amor mirror dichotomy palindrome of public duty and private love, Sunwise vs Anti-diasil spiral procession, and Plebeian Secession.

Medieval Italy had a political struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Dante was part of the Guelphs, who favored the Papacy over the Holy Roman Emperor. Florence’s Guelphs split into factions around 1300: the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Dante was among the White Guelphs who were exiled in 1302 by the Lord-Mayor.

The last word in each of the three canticas is stelle (“stars”).20171201_151134

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