Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in the Divine Comedy
University of Toronto Press, 2007 M01 1 - 327 pages
Widely considered one of the greatest works produced in Europe during the Middle Ages, Dante's La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) has influenced countless generations of readers, yet surprisingly few books have attempted to explain the philosophical relevance of this great epic. Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation takes on this ambitious project.
Turning to Heidegger to provide a theoretical framework for her study, Christine O'Connell Baur illustrates how Dante's poem invites its readers to undertake their own existential-hermeneutic journey to freedom. As the pilgrim progresses in his journey, she argues, he moves beyond a merely literal, 'infernal' self-interpretation that is grounded on present attachments to things in the world. If we readers accompany the pilgrim in this hermeneutic conversion, we will see that our own existential commitments can help disclose the meaning of our world and our own finite freedom.
A work of considerable importance both for and teachers and students of Dante studies, Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation will also prove useful to scholars working in medieval studies, philosophy, and literary theory.