Dante & Aquinas

Dante & Aquinas

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Dante & Aquinas

Dante & Aquinas

Read FREE!

Synopsis

Discusses Dante's work in the light of the accepted philosophy & theology of his time as expressed in the Thomistic philosophy of Aquinas. The author makes analytical digressions into Greek philosophy. Christian neoplatonism & later transformations of the philosophy of Aristotle.

Excerpt

The student of the great age of mediæval theology is singularly fortunate in having two such guides as S. Thomas Aquinas and Dante Alleghieri. The first is a theologian, a philosopher, and, above all, an ecclesiastic. The other is a poet, a prophet, and, above all, a layman.

The German Dantist Karl Vossler claims Dante as the most perfect representative of Christianity that history can point to on the very ground that he was neither a recluse nor a professional theologian, but a man of affairs, who lived the full life of his age and found in his Christian faith and his spiritual passion the very centre of its significance.

I think it may be said without undue sacrifice to the love of antithesis that Aquinas regards the whole range of human experiences and activities as the collecting ground for illustrations of Christian truth, and Dante regards Christian truth as the interpreting and inspiring force that makes all human life live.

The poem to which "both heaven and earth have set their hand" is at once secular and sacred; and it is both the one and the other in the best sense and in fullest measure. It is, in no small measure, this vivid retention of earthly interests . . .

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