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Dante’s Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in by Christine O'Connell Baur

By Christine O'Connell Baur

Widely one among the best works produced in Europe in the course of the center a while, Dante's La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) has prompted numerous generations of readers, but strangely few books have tried to give an explanation for the philosophical relevance of this nice epic. Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation takes in this formidable project.

Turning to Heidegger to supply a theoretical framework for her examine, Christine O'Connell Baur illustrates how Dante's poem invitations its readers to adopt their very own existential-hermeneutic trip to freedom. because the pilgrim progresses in his trip, she argues, he strikes past a basically literal, 'infernal' self-interpretation that's grounded on current attachments to objects on the planet. If we readers accompany the pilgrim during this hermeneutic conversion, we are going to see that our personal existential commitments might help divulge the that means of our international and our personal finite freedom.

A paintings of substantial value either for and academics and scholars of Dante experiences, Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation also will turn out worthy to students operating in medieval reviews, philosophy, and literary theory.

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We can begin illustrating the issue, and the approaches that Dante and Augustine take in relation to it, by considering the role played by memory in the Commedia. The problem that Dante the poet may be unable to remember or transcribe what he has seen, a problem that is especially prevalent in the Paradiso, is Dante’s poetic expression of the alleged gap between the eternal and temporal orders and between ‘things as they really are’ and our limited human perception and memory of them. Augustine had already discussed this problem in terms of the difference between human language and God’s language.

True) by being understood. Thus, the event of understanding is a reciprocal application, which necessarily involves two distinct ‘poles’ or ‘horizons’: the thing being understood and the interpretation through which it is understood. It is important to note that, for both Gadamer and Aquinas, the thing being understood is always separate from, but related to, the act of understanding it. 12 In sum, we understand the appearance of the being. Something is understood as something; these two horizons (being and its appearance) are necessarily distinct, because without difference no understanding could occur.

An apparent problem with asserting a parallelism between each realm of the afterlife and the pilgrim’s own interpretive ability is that the first realm – the inferno – does not seem to fit this pattern. That is, the events of the entire Inferno seem to take place without any connection to, or parallelism with, the pilgrim’s interpretive state. By contrast, the movements of both the Purgatorio and the Paradiso do seem to reflect, or to parallel, the pilgrim’s development in self-understanding. I suggested above that the infernal understanding does not recognize that selfunderstanding and the intelligibility of the world go hand in hand.

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