Dante and the Church

Paolo Acquaviva & Jennifer Petrie, editors

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
Limited Stock – only 6 copies remaining
ISBN: 978-1-84682-026-7
August 2007. 240pp.

'Dante’s importance in Christian literary history cannot be overstated but his views of the Church have also 'exercised scholars since the time of the early commentators'. The Reformation only added to the fun. The seven incisive essays included here were first delivered as lectures in University College, Dublin in 2001-2 and give us some of the latest thinking on the poet and his works. They touch on a wide range of topics: Dante’s relations with Boniface VIII and the Jubilee; his treatment of the Franciscans; a further look at Boniface VIII, Dante and Jacopone da Todi; Dante’s treatment of Purgatory; representations of the Church in the 'Heaven of the Sun'; a most interesting discussion of Dante’s views of the Church and political thought in Monarchia; and, finally, how people have misread clerical and civic duty in Inferno XXIII', James Munson, Contemporary Review.

‘This collection of stimulating essays situates Dante within the dramatic ecclesial context of his time. Originally delivered as lectures at University College Dublin in 2001–02 as part of the annual Dante series (the principal forum for Dante research in Ireland), four historians and three Italianists offer erudite investigations of the Florentine poet’s complex and often contentious love affair with the Church. As stated in the preface, it should be noted that “the meaning of the word ‘Church’ has been left somewhat elastic” (p. 5). Such elasticity, however, does not signal diffusion. Although the essays do focus on, for example, individual churchmen, religious movements, as well as the historical institution of the Church and its significance for the political, literary, cultural, and philosophical discourse of Dante’s day, the resounding effect of their diversity is symphonic ... The level of scholarship exhibited in these essays is of the highest calibre, and this volume is recommended for historians, Italianists, and Dantisti alike’, Andrew Matt, The Catholic Historical Review (January 2009).