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Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture$
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Teodolinda Barolini

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227037

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823227037.001.0001

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Medieval Multiculturalism and Dante's Theology of Hell

Medieval Multiculturalism and Dante's Theology of Hell

(p.102) Chapter 4 Medieval Multiculturalism and Dante's Theology of Hell
Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture

Teodolinda Barolini

Fordham University Press

Dante's representation of hell is unique in its rich and uninhibited blending of these remarkably heterogeneous constituents into a personal—multicultural—vision; while, for instance, scholastic philosophy was rooted in Aristotle, so that Aquinas cities the Nichomachean Ethics in his discussion of sin, and the vision authors knew the Bible. In a move that allows his syncretic perchant greater latitude, Dante resists providing a uniform template for sin; by offering one taxonomy for hell and another for purgatory he is able to widen the cultural resources available to the Commedia. The sins of inconsistence are sins of impulse, brought about by immoderate passion uncontrolled by reason; they are lust, gluttony, avarice/prodigality, and anger.

Keywords:   Dante, hell, sin, purgatory, Commedia, lust, gluttony, avarice, prodigality, anger

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