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Dante makes Thomas Aquinas the first voice of the Heaven of the Sun (Paradiso, Canto 10), and hence offers him as an emblem—perhaps the emblem—of redeemed creaturely wisdom. Dante recognized in Thomas the "teacher for everyone" (doctor communis) long before that usage became general; and so Dante reflects (and reflects deeply upon) Thomas' comprehensive sacra doctrina as he constructs his comprehensive allegory of love and responsibility. This course will read The Divine Comedy with an eye for important junctures at which Thomas' teaching proves especially relevant, and the course will address Dante's text in light of that teaching.
This year is the 700th anniversary of the death of perhaps the greatest poet in the history of the world, Dante Alighieri. His Divine Comedy is about everything you can name: God and His universe, the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, the history of mankind, what it means to be a creature made in the image of God, what love is, and art, and sin, and repentance, and redemption— and what you do when your city banishes you and confiscates your property—everything! We will follow our guide into the sinkhole of Hell, then up the mount of Purgatory and on into Paradise.