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85Re: [Divina Commedia] Who was the man?

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  • David Camp
    Nov 8, 2006
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      Ron,
      It is entirely possible you are right, but it is hard to really know for sure. He was a stickler for seeing to it that people got what they deserved, so it is hard for me to imagine that he wasn't bothered. My own suspicions aside, I've read books by critics who've suggested the same thing. I think we all tend to project.
      David

      David,

      I am suggesting that Dante was not, as you suggested, "uneasy about
      having to condemn people like Virgil". First I think you
      misunderstand the position of the pagans, in Dante's schema, in
      contrast to Christians. The pagans pre-existed Christ's mission and
      offer of salvation. They weren't "condemned", as you put it. They
      were not punished with hell. They simply could not enter into the
      Divine presence, heaven.

      As to condemnation in general, Dante was all about Justice. People
      got what they deserved. He was not at all uneasy about that. In fact
      I think he delighted in it according to his conception of Divine
      order. Remember, it was his own judgements that placed certain
      people in specific places in hell.

      I think you are projecting your own uneasiness onto Dante. From
      everything I've read he was completely a man of his time and fully
      accepting of the contemporary Church paradigm.

      Ron

      --- In divinacommedia@yahoogroups.com, "David Camp" <dcamp@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > 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.
      > David
      >
      > David,
      >
      > 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.
      >
      > Ron
      >
      > --- In divinacommedia@yahoogroups.com, "David Camp" <dcamp@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > 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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