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78Re: [Divina Commedia] Who was the man?

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  • David Camp
    Nov 7, 2006
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      Hello Ron,
      Again you're thinking I've said things I haven't, unless you're in some way thinking that being bothered by Church damnation of sincerely good people is the same as disagreeing with Church doctrine. I do believe his particular point did trouble Dante, but not to the point of rejecting Church doctrine. I have neither said Dante was not a Catholic, nor that his work was not a profoundly Catholic work. That doesn't mean he didn't judge men for what they were and place certain popes in hell.
      The fact that Dante was profoundly influenced by Catholic thought when he wrote his work also does not mean you that have to be a Catholic, or even a Christian, to appreciate it. As with popes, books too can be judged for what they are, and his was a profound work.


      Dante gave no signs of disagreeing with any of the Catholic Church's
      doctrine. In fact the stated purpose of the Commedia was to present
      that relgion. Virgil's place in the Commedia was completely
      consistent with the then understood state of theology. I don't know
      where you get the idea that he was uneasy about it.

      Having said that, realize that he was working with the contemporary
      understanding and theological speculation, based on reason, not
      proclaimed dogma. In fact today the Catholic Church has officially
      repudiated the notion that we can presume to guess anyone's fate.
      There is room for the possibility that even pagans, who follow their
      consciences and live righteously, may be saved in spite of their
      religion. You see God judges us by our consciences. The problem is
      that pagans, like Virgil, did not know about the possibility of
      forgiveness. Their fate is entirely up to God's judgement.

      Remember, the Commedia is fiction and allegory. The purpose is to
      present the ladder to perfection, not to relate historical fact.
      Though, obviously, Dante interjected his own political views as well.


      --- In divinacommedia@yahoogroups.com, "David Camp" <dcamp@...>
      > Hello Ron,
      > When I noted that some in his day were said to have viewed
      Dante as a magician (the original question was how was he viewed in
      his day), I was not suggesting that he viewed himself that way. He
      was very obviously a follower of the same religion as everyone
      immediately around him even if he was uneasy about having to condemn
      people like Virgil, a person more worthy of respect than the popes
      of his own day, to some sort of hell. Dante's poem is profoundly
      influenced by the religion he was taught growing up. He was such a
      powerful artist that he made visions of hell much more vivid for
      many millions who followed, yet hell is not what his poem about. It
      was about rising above all of that. I agree with that completely.
      > I am in an unusual situation in that I am working on a vast
      spiritual project (the equivalent of 20,000,000 words if what they
      say about pictures is true) which is to serve as a sort of bookend
      to Dante's work when it is done, but I am not a Catholic. I am only
      interested in Spirit and God, not names or religions. There is
      symmetry in the fact that my inner guide and teacher is Dostoevsky.
      > David
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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