This presentation will suggest that Dante’s journey through the earthly paradise in the second part of his Divine Comedy draws heavily on the journey of Cleopas and the unnamed disciple on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. In the Purgatorio, Dante makes several key references to the Gospel of Luke in order to reimagine the Emmaus story in the context of his own personal faith journey. The Christ figure in Dante’s life is Beatrice, and when he meets her in purgatory, her face is veiled. The gradual unveiling of her beauty to Dante mirrors Christ’s gradual revelation of his nature to Cleopas and the unnamed disciple on the road to Emmaus. Narrative similarities between the Emmaus story and the Purgatorio will be explored as a resource for appreciating Dante’s vision of the passage from purgatory to paradise and the beatific vision.
Friday, March 13, 8:30 AM – 1 PM
Dr. Jane Kelley Rodeheffer is a philosopher who currently holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Great Books at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She holds degrees from Boston College, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities. She is currently be the Killian McDonnell Fellow in residence at the Collegeville Institute.