“The insurance appraiser in the Season 5 episode ‘Basic Story’ of Community recites from Paradiso XVII.58 as he climbs the short staircase in the entrance of Greendale Community College: ‘And you shall find that salt is the taste of another man’s bread, and hard is the way up and down another man’s stairs.’” —Wikipedia
“Taking influence from personal experience, classical mythology and Dante’s Commedia, concentrating particularly on existential and ontological themes, the works collected as Between Three Worlds explore human potential and human transience. Space and time is radically questioned. Figures are pulled between states of being; through sublime ascent, catastrophic destruction and the uneasy predicaments in-between. Avoiding idealism and with no certain answers, these works attempt to question different types of love, different states of being, examining the edges of existence and beyond.” [. . .] –Emma Safe, Between Three Worlds.
“This Nov. 2, on what is known as All Souls’ Day, Roman Catholics around the world will be praying for loved ones who have died and for all those who have passed from this life to the next. They will be joined by Jerry Walls.
“‘I got no problem praying for the dead,’ Walls says without hesitation — which is unusual for a United Methodist who attends an Anglican church and teaches Christian philosophy at Houston Baptist University.
“Most Protestant traditions forcefully rejected the ‘Romish doctrine’ of purgatory after the Reformation nearly 500 years ago. The Protestant discomfort with purgatory hasn’t eased much since: You still can’t find the word in the Bible, critics say, and the idea that you can pray anyone who has died into paradise smacks of salvation by good works.
[. . .]
“‘I would often get negative reactions,’ Walls said about his early efforts, starting more than a decade ago, to pitch purgatory to Protestants. ‘But when I started explaining it, it didn’t cause a lot of shock.’
“Walls’ major work on the topic, ‘Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation,’ was published in 2012 and completes a trilogy on heaven, hell and the afterlife. He also has a popular, one-volume book synthesizing his ideas coming out from Brazos Press, which targets evangelical readers, and is writing an essay on purgatory for a collection about hell from the evangelical publisher Zondervan.” –David Gibson, Sojourners, 2014
Read the full article here.
“Dante wrote his famous work in a day when pundits could not openly attack the powers that be in columns such as this for fear of their lives. Well thanks to the First Amendment of the Constitution I’m somewhat protected in what I can say about our contemporary politicians. I’m somewhat limited because I cannot defame or slander anyone; I can, however, make fun of them as I describe their foibles and fumblings.
“Anyway, I digress. Dante wrote his very descriptive poem describing Hell (The Inferno) as being constructed of many layers. The lower you descended the worse the conditions were. The sinner who passed away was assigned to the specific layer reserved for those with similar sins and the worse the sins the lower the level.
“Interestingly enough Dante placed politicians in the lowest levels where those who lied, committed treachery, fraud and treason against the state. I couldn’t figure where Governor Good Hair exactly belonged because he has been guilty of so many infractions. So, I stuck him in both levels.” —Mary Mata, News Taco, 2014
Read the full article here.
“In this essay, I will flesh out that suggestion; I will show how Dante and aspects of the medieval Catholic theology that shaped his views had more in common with libertarian beliefs than the beliefs of many modern-day Christians, who have been infused with a puritanical—and even Manichaean—attitude about the natural world and its bounty and beauty. Indeed, the perceptions about the natural world shared by the theologian Thomas Aquinas and some of today’s libertarians may help explain why libertarianism resonates so deeply with Catholics, Jews, and other minorities—including Native Americans and members of the gay community. All of these groups instinctively understand that the inner state of a human being—one’s humanity and status as an individual—is more important than superficial differences that only appear to distinguish one person from another. In this sense, they mirror Dante’s understanding that the deeper, less visible ‘sins’ of humanity are far more destructive than outwardly observable behaviors and conditions. And while this may appear to gloss over instances where outward manifestations of ‘sinful’ behavior reflect an evil root within the inner man—it is nonetheless important to understand how inner states of being such as pride, envy, and wrath cause more harm than the outwardly visible manifestations of greed, gluttony, and lust.” [. . .] –Lawrence M. Ludlow, The Future of Freedom Foundation, July 11, 2014.