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Download Divine Dialectic: Dante's Incarnational Poetry by Guy P. Raffa PDF

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By Guy P. Raffa

In this e-book, man Raffa bargains a clean studying of Dante's significant literary works - the Divine Comedy and the Vita nuova - that mixes imperative tenets of incarnational theology and dialectical notion to light up the poet's popular skill to 'have it either methods' on matters that conventionally elicit an 'either/or' reaction. Viewing Dante as a poet of revision, no longer conversion, Raffa demanding situations a dominant paradigm in Dante feedback and takes complete account of the poet's unconventional method of such traditional dichotomies as eros and spirituality, reputation and humility, motion and contemplation, and obedience and transgression. Divine Dialectic finally argues that Dante crosses textual and theological obstacles in his medieval epic to advertise the paradoxical union of contradiction and determination as a fashion of examining his poem and, by means of extension, the realm itself.

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In chapter 12 of the Vita nuova Dante himself raises the issue of centres and what it means to be decentred. The young lover, distraught because Beatrice withheld her salvific greeting, experiences in his sleep a visionary encounter with Love. 4). 20 Yet, the unfolding story of Dante's 'new life' shows that Love, though he maintains perfect balance in this world, is similarly decentred from the perspective of such theological matters as Beatrice's incarnational significance. A projection of the young Dante's psycho-emotional state, Love remains stuck in the sublunar realm of mortality and grief even after his self-identification with the Christlike Beatrice in chapter 24.

For the descent into hell and the ascent of purgatory, this paradoxical union of both opposition and reconciliation, is best represented by the relationship of the two travellers. 139). 29 In the place - both textual and geographical - where Christ cannot be called by name, his presence is marked in malo through a series of guardians and tormentors whose hybridity mocks the incarnational union of humanity and the divine. At times the poet underscores the dual nature of these creatures. 13-14). 31 Dante's hybrids mock the Incarnation in two interrelated ways.

Dante's most direct approaches to the paradox of the Incarnation, the union of two complete natures - human and divine - in a single per son, are inevitably marked by a conceptual struggle: the alternating reflections of the Griffin's two complete natures in Beatrice's eyes while the animal itself remains fixed in its hybrid form is a source of wonder 'mi maravigliava' [I marveled] - that occasions an address to the reader (Purg. 124-32); the wayfarer's possible corporeal presence in the lunar sphere defies conventional knowledge — 'qui noil si concepe / com' una ditnensiotie altra patio' [here we conceive not how one bulk could bear another] - and should therefore stimulate our desire to see in paradise the incarnational union of human and divine natures (Par.

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