ENG-383 Dante’s Divine Comedy: Narrative Thomism (Annotated Bibliography)


Throughout Sacred Scripture and indeed throughout the whole history of mankind, God has patiently enacted a divine condescension in order to gather His children into the abode of Truth. Man first moves toward the light of Truth with the aid of natural revelation, which operates within the constructs of reason, laying the groundwork for a response to Divine Revelation. In his Comedia, Dante Alighieri employs this pedagogical character of the movement of man toward the Divine. By examining the elements of Virgil’s teaching methodology, I hope to gain insight into the characteristics of this effective instruction, which entails gradual explanation and demonstration leading to the eventual independence of the pupil. Reason can only take us so far before we must leap into the arms of Faith when approaching divine Truth.

Annotated Bibliography:

  • Auerbach, Erich. Dante: Poet of the Secular World. (New York: NYRB Classics, 2007).
    • This book was recommended to me by a fellow scholar. I have yet to receive it, but I have looked at the index and read reviews. It seems to go into depth about the structure and subject matter of the whole of the Commedia. 
  • Freccero, John. Dante: The Poetics of Conversion. (Harvard University Press, 1988).
    • This book goes into the conversion process that takes place within Dante. I have yet to receive this book in the mail, but it was recommended to me by a friend who has studied Dante in depth.
  • Royal, Robert. Dante Alighieri: Divine Comedy, Divine Spirituality. (The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1999).
    • This book explores the man who is Dante, the pilgrim. Having intimate knowledge of the pupil aids in comprehending instructive methods that ought to be used.
  • Tate, Allen. “The Symbolic Imagination: A Meditation on Dante’s Three Mirrors. The Kenyon Review. Vol. 14, No. 2, The Dante Number (Spring, 1952), pp. 256-277. Published by: Kenyon College. Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4333324
    • This article ventures to expound on the pedagogical process, although not directly focused on Virgil and his teaching methods. It does shed light on Dante’s movement toward the Divine, and how this comes about.
  • Triggiano, Tonia Bernardi. “Dante’s Heavenly Lessons: Educative Economy in the Paradiso.” Essays In Medieval Studies 26, no. 1 (February 2010): 15-26. History Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed February 14, 2015). http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=58648992&site=ehost-liv
    • This article explores primarily the Paradiso, but it also touches on teaching methods of Virgil in the Commedia.

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