Dante’s Purgatorio, as is well known, is not a standalone text; it is simply the second part of The Divine Comedy. In this course we will deal with Dante’s views on redemption and salvation as represented in his Purgatorio. Our focus will be the nature of sin: How it is that appetites which keep the body and species alive are evil (i.e., lust and gluttony). And how human beings can transcend their fallen nature (with divine assistance). We will cover the numerous historical personages and references in the work, as well as the theology implicit in it. Dante’s Purgatorio changes the tone of the Comedy, illustrating how people can become “pure and ready to rise to the heavens.”
The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, vol. 2, Purgatorio. Trans. Robert Durling. Oxford Press, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0195087451.
FABIAN ALFIE received his Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a specialization in the Middle Ages. He has published extensively on medieval Italian literature and has given numerous talks on Dante. He has received two Superior Teaching Awards from the Humanities Seminars Program, as well as a Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Humanities.