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Dante as the poet and philosopher of being and becoming

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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With Alessandro Scafi (The Warburg Institute, University of London) and John Took (UCL)

First encounter of the course designed to explore some of the leading ideas of Dante’s work and their continuing significance to us, dealing with Dante’s approach to love, philosophy, theology, language, literature, politics, mysticism, astrology, as well as his understanding of nature, grace and the afterlife, his sources and his relevance to contemporary existential concerns.

This session will explore the individual or group of individuals as the object of Dante’s concern as a philosopher and theologian.

Alessandro Scafi is Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Cultural history at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. He is the author of Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth (London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), winner of the 2006 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, and Maps of Paradise (London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013). He has published several essays and articles on the history of cartography and pilgrimage, Aby Warburg, the relationship between the Italian and Hungarian Renaissances and on Italian art and literature, in particular on Dante and Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini.

John Took is Emeritus Professor of Dante Studies at University College London. Among his principal publications are volumes on Dante’s general aesthetic and literary aesthetic, on the minor works, on Dante’s theology and phenomenology, and on the Fiore (a cycle of sonnets based on the Roman de la rose and attributed by many scholars to Dante). He is at present at work on an intellectual biography of Dante for Princeton University Press and on a proposed volume on Dante for the "intelligent enquirer" – a work setting out to explore Dante’s continuing relevance to us as a poet and philosopher – for the Bloomsbury Press, with further work on Dante as a theologian on the horizon.

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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