“Protestant Theologians Reconsider Purgatory”

“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.

“Why Dante, 700 years later, is still a hell of a journey”

A brief overview of Dante’s influence and impact on the arts and on people all over the world, and notes our own Dante Today:

[…] “The poem’s influences are so wide and far-ranging that three American universities have collaborated on a website to keep track of them all. Since 2006, Dante Today has been archiving every present-day reference to the poem, through “sightings” and “citings”. They’re pretty thorough, even adding a hot-sauce brand called 10th Circle to their archive last month.” […]    –Rachel Lopez, Hindustani Times, February 20, 2021

A Divina Comedia, O Filme (Brazilian Movie 2020)

“Based on the work of Dante Alighieri. The Titan Studio company in partnership with the theatre team Trupe Alcateia will give life to this incredible play that for centuries is investigating the curiosity of people all around the globe. The project consists of filming with chroma keys so CGI scenarios can be built and applied onto the background allowing more freedom with the creation and keeping the originality of the play. The performances will all be theatrical and with scripts adapted to the cinematic customs and updated language, besides having a slight ‘Shakespearian’ touch in order to maintain the romanticism of the work.” [. . .]    —ARTSTATION

The movie poster above features the film’s interpretation of Ciacco in Inferno 6. To learn more visit the Facebook page here.

“Newly Uncovered DNA Evidence Frees Thousands Of Damned Souls From Hell”

“Hear how justice was finally served for those wrongfully accused of greed, gluttony, and premarital sex.”   —The Onion, 2020

Listen to the full podcast here.

“IT Inferno: The nine circles of IT hell”

“Spend enough time in the tech industry, and you’ll eventually find yourself in IT hell — one not unlike the underworld described by Dante in his Divine Comedy.

“But here, in the data centers, conference rooms, and cubicles, the IT version of this inferno is no allegory. It is a very real test of every IT pro’s sanity and soul.”   –Dan Tynan, Info World, 2011

Read the full article here.

Robert Schwentke, dir. R.I.P.D. (2013)


“There are many descriptions of the afterlife in fiction that can be traced back to Dante’s imaginative journeys. The wacky afterlife universe depicted in the 2013 movie R.I.P.D (Rest in Peace Department) can’t shake off the legacy.

“When a Boston police officer is killed by his renegade partner, he is immediately whizzed up to a questionable Heaven where he discovers that everyone has to answer for past crimes in the thereafter – or join R.I.P.D, Inferno’s police force. The task of the R.I.P.D is to catch ‘Deadoes’, the souls of the deceased who refuse to accept their fate and instead return to the world of the living in order to spoil it.

“The ascent to where R.I.P.D resides is a helical ride for the recently departed, a cocktail of two shots of Inferno, half a Purgatorio and one of Paradiso.  Sitting under the department of ‘Eternal Affairs’, R.I.P.D is run by a chief, half Virgil, half Minos, whose role is to give the new recruit a tour of the establishment. The movie seems to suggest that if you’re not simply visiting Hell (like Dante the pilgrim), then you’re either a convict or an (infernal) law-enforcement officer, whose job is to keep the damned away from the living.

“Dante’s circles of Hell are alluded to in the prison cells of the R.I.P.D precincts and in its staff’s crammed offices. Hell is other people working in the next R.I.P.D cubicle.”    –Cristian Ispir

9 Circles of Hot Sauces and Spice Blends

nine-circles-of-hell-hot-sauce-and-spice-blend-2020

“Perhaps a long, hot walk, but a walk non the less. There is such a diverse pepper combination that is difficult to peg a dominate flavor source. I see the listed ingredients are not in order by scoville heat unit scale measure but in a manner that each pepper’s heat compliments each other. Remember the flavor curve? This was excellent.   Well done 9 Circles. The chicken was wonderful as well. I look forward to adding this spice mix to my kitchen inventory.

“The pork loin and the chicken breast that were rubbed with the brown sugar spice mix were obviously not as hot. But for the folks that can’t really handle the heat, but want to be bold enough and try the flavors of these wonderful peppers, this mix works. The brown sugar calmed the intense heat as provided by all these peppers. Ultimately, play around with the spice mix and see with what works for you heat wise.

“I’m happy somebody had the creativity and balls to develop and make this mix. The pepper combination worked well. I have had my fair share of hot pepper mixes, but 9 Circles Of HELL did their homework and produced a product worthy of the 9 dissentions of hell.” [. . .]    –Stephen Bishop, Perfect Meal Today, July 19, 2015.

 

Donna Tartt, The Secret History (1992)

“On page 39, the Inferno is directly mentioned: ‘It’s the meter,’ said Francis, ‘Iambic trimeter. Those really hideous parts of Inferno, for instance, Pier de Medicina with his nose hacked off and talking though a bloody slit in his windpipe–‘ ‘ I can think of worse than that,’ Charles said. ‘So can I. But that passage is lovely and it’s because of the terza rima. The music of it. The trimeter tolls through that speech of Klytemnestra’s like a bell.’

“This was in reference to a quoted piece of the Oresteia in a classics class. The reference to the meter was to connect death and beauty, and ultimately make a statement pertinent to the subject of desire, specifically the desire to live forever. Earlier in the book, the professor teaching the classics class mentioned both Dante and Virgil by name when explaining subjects other than Greek that the students would be studying in his program.”  –Contributor Alex Lee

Contributed by Robert Alex Lee (Florida State University, ’21)

Seventh Circle Hot Sauces

seventh-circle-hot-sauce-2019“Seventh Circle is a boutique hot sauce brand focused on unique flavor combinations, natural ingredients, and small batch production. The name is derived from Dante’s Inferno. In this story, the seventh circle of hell is reserved for those who have committed violence. Hot sauce fiends could be seen as committing violence upon themselves. Through texture, color, and imagery I wanted to create a cohesive brand that represents it’s namesake and would be attractive to hot sauce aficionados. The first step in creating the brand was constructing a logo. The logo is the vehicle that drives a brand, and is part of all touch points. In exploring the logo, I wanted to create a mark that was easily recognizable and conveyed the brand’s messaging in a simple but clever way. The phrase ‘You reap what you sow’ stuck out in my mind, as the seventh circle of hell is for those who have committed violence, and in this case on themselves. I went with the scythe, and illustrated it to be in the shape of the number seven.” [. . .]    —Jake Neece Design and Illustrations, 2019.

Carolyn Wolfenzon, Nuevos fantasmas recorren México (2020)

“In eight chapters, Wolfenzon focuses on different ghosts that haunt the pages of each of the novels. In her essay about Sada’s Porque parece mentira la verdad nunca se sabe (Because it Seems Like a Lie, The Truth is Never Known), for example, his ‘ghost is someone like you and me who works in a maquiladora,’ Wolfenzon said, referring to the factories prevalent along the US–Mexico border.

“‘The characters are only doing one thing in the entire novel,’ she continued. ‘They are like the dead but they are alive, in this setting, this space that doesn’t belong to anybody. It is the border between Mexico and the US, and it has the atmosphere of a new kind of hell.’

“Indeed, Wolfenzon was struck by how often the authors she examined describe new kinds of horrifying hells. She saw correlations with the Inferno, and in 2016, audited Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures Arielle Saiber’s class on Dante.

“‘I felt it was important to carefully revisit the Divina Comedia (The Divine Comedy),’ Wolfenzon said. ‘Arielle’s class was very inspirational to me, even though it was in Italian!'”   –Rebecca Goldfine, “Carolyn Wolfenzon’s New Book Illuminates a Ghoulish Theme in Modern Mexican Literature,” Bowdoin News, December 14, 2020