The Divine Comedy may be the most famous work of literature that Western culture has produced. Nearly everyone has come across it in some form: books, films, video games, offhand references, and of course the poem itself. But how many have had the chance to sit down and read it through? Still more, how many have had the chance to read it at a slow and thoughtful pace, while discussing with a small group of other alert voyagers? The Inferno is the first and most famous part of Dante's masterpiece, a work full of spiritual and psychological insight, but also simply a riveting tale of adventure and a surprisingly easy read. Join us for the journey, spread across twelve meetings this fall; those who wish may continue with the Purgatorio and Paradiso in the spring.
Weekly from mid-September. There will likely be two sections available, one on Saturday afternoons and one on a weekday evening (probably Monday).
Many understandings of the Christian religion place the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, squarely at its center. By many it is held to be the ritual that defines, unifies, and perhaps even creates the church; and many take it also as an extension through time of the central event of human history, the becoming-present-among-us of the unimaginably transcendent creator of everything. And yet the Eucharist, like other repeated actions, is at risk of being taken for granted; the understandings of it proposed by practitioners across the centuries can too easily be misunderstood or simply ignored. This fall we will try to awaken to the wonderment of the thing by reading a number of original sources, including the scriptural accounts; selections from early writings like the Didache and the Apostolic Tradition; church fathers (Justin Martyr, Cyprian of Carthage, John Chrysostom, Augustine); and occasional modern writers (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) who approach the question from the viewpoints of theology, exegesis, and ritual studies of sacraments-in-general. The material is challenging, but we will take it slowly for maximum engagement! The study will continue in the spring, for those who wish it, with medieval and later writers.
Every other week starting mid-September. Likely Wednesday evenings - click below for details!
TheTreasures.org hosts online reading groups designed to provide access to texts that are endlessly engaging, thought-provoking, possibly life-transforming — and typically texts that few people would work their way through on their own.
When one no longer has to work on one’s own, what once seemed a daunting task changes into a joyful experience, a highlight of the week: discovering that a “classic” like Dante’s Divine Comedy or Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy is not a far-off block of impenetrable literary marble, but a living, changing artwork that has vital things to say to us, and perhaps to do to us, in our twenty-first-century lives.