Most people have come across, and many have read some or all of, Dante’s famous Inferno. What most people don’t know is that the other two parts of the Divine Comedy are arguably even better: more subtle, philosophically deeper, and written by a poet in full command of his prodigious powers. Join us this spring for these two arresting works, which, like their predecessor, manage to be illuminating expositions of a profoundly spiritual worldview and page-turning stories of adventure - at the same time.
An encounter with Christian spirituality or “mysticism” in the early authors who shaped it. We’ll look especially at accounts of the structure of the human psyche and at what came to be called the “three ways” - the description of the human ascent toward God in terms of purgation, illumination, and “perfection” or “union.” Texts from Pseudo-Dionysius, Maximus Confessor, and medieval monastics and scholastics; attention throughout to the background of these ideas in Plato and neo-Platonism, but also to their impressively practical implications for prayer and life.
Alternate Tuesday evenings, 7:00-8:15 Eastern, from Jan. 11
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.