About the Dante’s Heaven, Hell and Purgatory course
An illustrated exploration of why the states of being explored so richly by Dante in the Divine Comedy matter today, regardless of convictions and beliefs. The day is suited for those seeking an introduction to Dante as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge.
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is many things: a personal crisis, a diatribe against corruption, an unsurpassed poem, a celebration of love. But at heart, as Dante described it, it is the realisation that ‘I am more than I am’, discovered by journeying through three domains of reality. So, what is the nature of this perceptual expanse and how does it come about?
This seminar will examine the transformation Dante underwent, which human beings can still undergo. It will focus on what might be called the emergence of Dante’s spiritual intelligence and examine those alongside psychotherapeutic insights. Spiritual intelligence knows many things: that descent and ascent are intimately linked; that time can be experienced in dramatically different ways; that virtues are crucial not so much for moral reasons but because they connect with reality; that the whole of life is one life, unified not through uniformity but, as Dante describes it, like a book of many leaves bound by love, each with its part.
About the Tutor
Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer. His most recent books include Spiritual Intelligence in Seven Steps (Iff books), Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Guide for the Spiritual Journey (Angelico Press), A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Consciousness (John Hunt). He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics, and has studied at the universities of Durham, Oxford and Warwick. He teaches at several places of informal adult education and can be heard on the BBC as well as other programmes and podcasts. For more information, visit, www.markvernon.com