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Philosophers, Theologians, and the Islamic Legacy in Dante:

Philosophers, Theologians, and the Islamic Legacy in Dante:

Inferno 4 versus Paradiso 4

Chapter:
(p.95) Philosophers, Theologians, and the Islamic Legacy in Dante
Source:
Dante and Islam
Author(s):
Brenda Deen Schildgen
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823263868.003.0006

This essay argues that in Paradiso 4, Dante offers a retrospective consideration of Inferno 4 in which he re-examines the learned traditions and poetic practices of ancient Greek and medieval Arab philosophy. Whereas in the Convivio Dante had attempted to accommodate the differences about the relative influence of heavenly bodies on the human soul as outlined by ancient Greek and medieval Arabic philosophers, in the Commedia he clearly rejects this position. Following Thomas Aquinas, in which Christ is the means to unite nature and the transcendent, he endorses orthodox Christian views on the nature of the soul and the freedom of the will against the legacy of the Greeks and the Arabs.

Keywords:   Allegory, Arabic philosophy, Greek philosophy, Sufism, mi’rāj

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