You've followed Dante through the dreaded gates of Hell, to the arduous slopes of Mount Purgatory, and now, finally, to the transcendence of the Heavenly Court.
With Dr. Anthony Esolen, you've travelled into the depths of the Inferno. You've witnessed the terrible hopelessness of Hell and the bitter punishments for sinners there. You've accompanied Dante and Virgil through the mysteries of Mount Purgatory where sinners are purged of all attachment to sin. Finally, together with blessed Beatrice, enter into the indescribable glory of Heaven.
The Beatific Vision
Dante imagines that Paradise consists of nine celestial spheres which surround the very Throne of God at the center. It is like a blossoming rose, each petal reveals further splendor and glory the nearer we come to the center. Yet, in a way, Dante's journey to God reads something like science fiction - after all, he and Beatrice travel through:
• The Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn • The "Fixed Stars" - a region medievals imagined to contain all stars except the Sun • And finally, through the "Primum Mobile" - the sphere which causes the motion of all other spheres within it because it is moved directly by God
In each astral location, Dante and Beatrice meet the blessed souls who enjoy the bliss of Heaven. Unlike Purgatory and the Inferno, which are arranged by different types of sin, Paradise is structured according to virtue. Each sphere is associated with one of the cardinal virtues - prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance - or one of the theological virtues - faith, hope, and charity.
Poetry of the Highest Order
Professor Esolen who has served as your guide through both the Inferno and Purgatory will guide you through the profound and elevated poetry of Paradise. An expert who has taught Dante to college students for more than twenty years, Professor Esolen is also the preeminent modern translator of the entire Divine Comedy from the original Italian.
Dante can rightly be called the greatest poet who ever lived, because he chose for the subject of his epic poem the greatest subject ever conceived - namely, the whole purpose and end of man. Dante's imaginative genius gave us both astonishing human and theological insights and perhaps the most beautiful verse describing Heaven ever written.
Discover the ineffable majesty of Paradise with Professor Esolen and complete the journey of all men who have conquered the self through the sufferings of Purgatory.
About the Author
Professor Anthony Esolen holds a Doctorate in Renaissance English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Professor of English at Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the translator of the celebrated three-volume Modern Library edition of Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a Senior Editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and his articles appear regularly in First Things, Catholic World Report, Magnificat, This Rock, and Latin Mass.
Item No: C504 (Grouped)
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press, LLC
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: DVD, CD, MP4 Video Download, MP3 Audio Download and Group Study Edition
8 Lectures (Approx. 30 min. each)
1. Cantos 1-5: Man Soaring Beyond Man Reunited with blessed Beatrice, Dante ascends into the realm of Paradise where he rises through the realms of the Moon and Mercury.
2. Cantos 6-9: Glory and Love Dante begins to comprehend the majesty and justice of God’s grace, and arrives at the realm of Venus, which is filled with souls who are brighter than any earthly lamp.
3. Cantos 10-13: The Empire of the Sun Beatrice draws Dante upwards, into the realm of the Sun where he meets St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Dominic, and St. Bonaventure.
4. Cantos 14-17: The Fighting Christian In the realm of Mars, Dante sees a vision of the Cross of Christ and meets the soul of one of his ancestors, a great statesman of Florence.
5. Cantos 18-21: The Providence of God
Dante meets the souls of saintly and just rulers in the sphere of Jupiter, where he also receives a vision which is like an eagle, speaking of God’s goodness.
6. Cantos 22-25: Dante Takes His Final Exams Dante reaches the sphere of the fixed stars were he meets the apostles St. Peter and St. James; they examine Dante on the virtues of faith and hope.
7. Cantos 26-29: Angelic Love Blinded by the brilliant light emanating forth from St. John, Dante completes his examination on the last and greatest of the theological virtues, charity.
8. Cantos 30-33: The Love that Moves the Sun and Stars
At the end of his journey, Dante is graced with a vision of the Trinity itself; but even he cannot describe what he seems, so infinite and sublime is the existence of God.