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21. Paradise XXIV, XXV, XXVI

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Uploaded on Sep 8, 2009

Dante in Translation (ITAL 310)

This lecture covers Paradise XXIV-XXVI. In the Heaven of the Fixed Stars, Dante is examined on the three theological virtues by the apostles associated with each: St. Peter with faith (Paradise XXIV), St. James with hope (Paradise XXV), and St. John with love (Paradise XXVI). While mastering these virtues is irrelevant to the elect, it is crucial to the message of reform the pilgrim-turned-poet will relay on his return home. Dante's scholastic profession of faith before St. Peter (Paradise XXIV) is read testament to the complication of faith and reason. The second of the theological virtues is discussed in light of the classical disparagement of hope as a form of self-deception and its redemption by the biblical tradition through the story of Exodus, the archetype of Dante's journey. The pilgrim's three-part examination continues in Paradise XXVI under the auspices of St. John, where love, the greatest of the virtues is distinguished by its elusiveness. The emphasis on love's resistance to formal definition sets the stage for the pilgrim's encounter with Adam, who sheds light on the linguistic consequences of the Fall.

00:00 - Chapter 1. An Introduction to the Three Theoretical Virtues
07:59 - Chapter 2. The Virtue of Faith
28:22 - Chapter 3. The Virtue of Hope
44:40 - Chapter 4. The Virtue of Love
56:08 - Chapter 5. Question and Answer

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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