Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in the Divine Comedy

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 327 pages

Widely considered one of the greatest works produced in Europe during the Middle Ages, Dante's La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) has influenced countless generations of readers, yet surprisingly few books have attempted to explain the philosophical relevance of this great epic. Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation takes on this ambitious project.

Turning to Heidegger to provide a theoretical framework for her study, Christine O'Connell Baur illustrates how Dante's poem invites its readers to undertake their own existential-hermeneutic journey to freedom. As the pilgrim progresses in his journey, she argues, he moves beyond a merely literal, 'infernal' self-interpretation that is grounded on present attachments to things in the world. If we readers accompany the pilgrim in this hermeneutic conversion, we will see that our own existential commitments can help disclose the meaning of our world and our own finite freedom.

A work of considerable importance both for and teachers and students of Dante studies, Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation will also prove useful to scholars working in medieval studies, philosophy, and literary theory.

 

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Contents

Contents
3
DIVISION
11
Meaning
33
Historicality and Truth
66
The Recapitulatory Nature of Finite Understanding
80
The Hermeneutics of Conversion
98
Dialectical Reading and the Dialectic of Salvation
135
Reading the Volume of the Universe
172
Virgil Had Insufficient Grace
211
Who Is Virgil?
242
Bibliography
301
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Christine O'Conell Baur holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and has served as a lecturer at the Rome campus of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, and as a teaching fellow at Fordham University.

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