Medieval Multiculturalism and Dante's Theology of Hell

Teodolinda Barolini

in Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823227037
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241019 | DOI:
Medieval Multiculturalism and Dante's Theology of Hell

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Dante's representation of hell is unique in its rich and uninhibited blending of these remarkably heterogeneous constituents into a personal—multicultural—vision; while, for instance, scholastic philosophy was rooted in Aristotle, so that Aquinas cities the Nichomachean Ethics in his discussion of sin, and the vision authors knew the Bible. In a move that allows his syncretic perchant greater latitude, Dante resists providing a uniform template for sin; by offering one taxonomy for hell and another for purgatory he is able to widen the cultural resources available to the Commedia. The sins of inconsistence are sins of impulse, brought about by immoderate passion uncontrolled by reason; they are lust, gluttony, avarice/prodigality, and anger.

Keywords: Dante; hell; sin; purgatory; Commedia; lust; gluttony; avarice; prodigality; anger

Chapter.  8737 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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