PHIL-276 Dante and the Christian Imagination
Fall for 2013-2014
Jorge Luis Borges said that no one should deny themselves the pleasure of reading Dante’s Commedia. This course is intended to help the reader discover why this is so.
More specifically, this course will consider the explicitly Christian and uniquely contemporary intellectual relevance of Dante's Divina Commedia in the context of the questions of human freedom and identity, as well as the role of the imagination in the formation of culture and worldviews. The basis and substance of the study will be Dante's Divina Commedia. The approach of the course to this theme will be interdisciplinary with significant consideration being given to the function of imagination as it operates in poetry, psychology, philosophy, and theology. The unifying element in this approach would be the role of metaphor in all these disciplines, with special attention to both the similarities and the specific difference of that role in each as it appears in the Comedy. We will read in translation and discuss substantial portions of all three of the Cantiche of the Commedia, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
Students will be asked to make regular use of a website designed specifically for this course incorporating the text of the Commedia in Italian and English translation, as well as images from the rich history of the illustration of the poem by great artists and commentary on the text from a variety of sources. No prior expertise in web technology is required; students will, however, be asked to become familiar with and use a few basic techniques of interactive, web-based learning. Attention will be given to the poetic art of Dante as it is manifest in the original Italian text, but reading knowledge of Italian is not required.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '13: Ambrosio F (description, file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
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