Volume 2 considers some of the broader social, cultural and intellectual contexts for Dante’s theological engagement. The contributors discuss the relationship between theology and poetry as Dante sees and presents it; Dante’s thought on the nature of the Church; the ways in which liturgical practice helped shape the poet’s work; the links between Dante’s political and theological ideas; the importance of preaching in Dante’s context; the ways in which the notion of virtue connects theological and ethical thought in Dante’s works; and the extent to which Dante’s often surprising, groundbreaking work tests medieval notions of orthodoxy. Each essay offers an overview of its topic and opens up new avenues.
Claire E. Honess and Matthew Treherne Introduction
Reviewing Dante’s Theology, which forms the first two volumes of the book series Leeds Studies on Dante, is the product of a workshop held in April 2008 in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute at the University of Leeds, organized by the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies, and of a subse- quent seminar held at the University of Cambridge in November 2008. The workshop aimed to take stock of what had become a vibrant field of study, and to suggest future directions for research. Each participant was invited to present an overview of a particular topic, to sum up the achieve- ments of scholarship so far, and to suggest some of the future directions for research. Crucially, by bringing together researchers working on diverse aspects of Dante’s theology, we aimed to avoid the danger of fragmenta- tion which often accompanies a major topic in a vast field such as Dante studies. Collectively, we wished to test the boundaries of that field. The spirit and tone of the conversations at our workshops ref lect the energy currently being devoted to these questions, a genuine willingness on the part of participants to learn from each other and to share ideas, and a common acknowledgment that the study of Dante’s theology needed to be a shared, rather than an individual, endeavour. The full introduction to the two volumes is printed in Volume 1 and can also be downloaded from the Peter Lang website: www.peterlang.com.
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