the university guides us through Dante’s “Divine Comedy”
A presentation from Baylor University Honors College, Torrey Honors College at Biola University, Templeton Honors College at Eastern University, University of Dallas, Whitworth University, Gonzaga University and Gonzaga at Florence.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article like this, based on the social media posts from the previous week.
Read Snyder, Lenarduzzi and Dante CLICK HERE
We all probably write a lot of words on social media, in PM, and in texts if we stop and think. Every now and then I like to look back and follow a theme I’m already writing about.
I. original friend invitation
The world’s largest Dante book group is starting soon, with talks on each of the 100 songs of the Comedy from September 8, 2021 to Easter 2022! Whatever your experience with Comedy, now is the time to read it for the first or the 100th time!
I will only develop this point. The rest is self-explanatory. Brian A. Williams and I went to school together from jr. high throughout our second year. We often chatted about our favorite ’80s alternative bands. If I remember correctly, he had the best slide tackle on our football team.
I have been inspired by his educational journey over the years. I will present his lecture before Song 6, so you can get a taste of how engaging this whole program is.
Brian A. Williams, Vocals 6, Dante’s Hell
Brian holds an MA from Regent College in Canada. Subsequently, as a researcher in residence, he wrote a book on pastoral theology entitled The Potter’s Rib: Mentoring for Pastoral Formation CLICK HERE
He and his family moved to England so that he could get his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He returned to America to become dean of Templeton Honors College at Eastern University.
Interestingly, my board supervisor knows the former dean of Templeton… sometimes it’s a small country.
ii. my invitation
This reading group has great scholars as tutors (such as Brian williams and Fred sanders)
Sign up to be part of this historic… online… free… course on a classic of Christian literature. If you feel really lost, Dante goes there and takes us back.
David R. Bundrick, one of my former bosses and responsible for student development, is already registered, receives emails and watches videos
Full website is now operational
iii. really, an enthusiastic reader
I just finished Canto 3. I love the videos with the teachers explaining what we see in each Canto… so well done! And there’s a fantastic Facebook chat page.
I had 2 other registrants. Why don’t you join me in living this ageless Christian saga? You can catch up easily. In fact, a friend signed up last night while we were talking about it on the phone.
iv. you can still easily catch up
I enjoy reading it, even though we are in “Inferno” right now (hell). We will eventually arrive in paradise.
I asked 2 other friends to sign up for the trip, both with doctorates. But you don’t need to have a doctorate to understand Dante.
Each chapter is preceded by an 8 to 10 minute video by one of the teachers of this cooperative who explains everything to you so that you do not miss anything while reading. I really enjoy these mini-conferences!
There is also an interactive FB page.
Read this classic with me
It doesn’t take time to catch up
In general, we are often hesitant to great works, especially if they seem too mystical or Catholic. For the record, the participating schools (see list above) represent both Protestants and Catholics.
One of my Protestant teachers once joked, “If being Protestant means I can only get readings from AD 1500 and not the first 400 years of church history, then I’m not sure. to be that kind of Protestant. I share his feeling.
Prior to the Protestant Reformation, or the Continental Reformation, there was much turmoil in Catholicism for at least a few hundred years. Dante would have lived at the dawn of this new mystical era of Catholicism. Some other Catholic writers of this era are like him, really focused on a personal relationship with God in new and fascinating ways.
I don’t want to offend any of my Catholic Christian friends, and I have a few. However, I have said for years that if the mother church had listened a little more carefully to these emerging mystics before the Reformation, then perhaps there would have been more peaceful reformation.
As for the Protestants who thus reject great works, I had more pity. I thought they had forgotten things we shouldn’t have forgotten. Some Protestants have apparently lost all sensitivity to the symbolic. They no longer have any respect for the mysterious movements of God.
I would even venture to say that after about 3-4 generations of Pentecostalism in America, we are not that different. Shame on us for forgetting that not only do we inhabit flesh and blood, but God also called us to walk in the Spirit.
Over time, my opinions have changed a bit. Some Protestants have not forgotten the mysteries of God. They have not forgotten to marvel and marvel as they approach our Almighty Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to worship Him.
Some Protestants have not forgotten… they have given up.
They turned away from Christian life on earth in the light of heaven, hell, eternal reward, and the presence of God that we can clearly experience now.
We can live like this, but it is not very practical in our time.
We can serve our herds that way, but it’s not very pragmatic.
Dante can remind us of this if we allow it.
Is everything Dante says absolute truth?
Does anyone claim that CS Lewis Screw ribbon letters Where Chronicles of Narnia are the absolute truth?
There are Christian allegories and stories that have been told to us over time that make us think. Dante is one of those voices that help us remember… remember who we are.