>> Saturday, August 15, 2009
I am hardly a scholar on the subject (although I've certainly accumulated the resources to do it if I should suddenly acquire a different kind of mind.) I've always felt free to mine the metaphors liberally-- and avoid the arguments that stopped being interesting several centuries ago (not to mention Italian city-state politics-- which got Dante exiled and with some speculative time on his hands in the first place). Maybe it was exile that evoked in him such a compelling interest in the final resolution of things... And keep in mind that Dante wasn't entirely literal about all of this. There's a place where he explains that the whole distribution of the souls that he encounters into the various planetary spheres is really just an organizational convenience arranged for the benefit of his mortal mind. Rather generous of God, I think-- but one of the reasons that I retain more patience than most with classic Christian symbology. The truth in it has nothing whatsoever in common with the verifiability of the six o'clock news..."