Why isnt...

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Why isnt...

Postby spiderbat » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:32 pm

Hello all, I was a member years ago but had to make a new account since I completely forgot my username, email I registered with, and my password. My question however, is why isn't the Divine Comedy considered a theological text. I've done a bit of search to find the answer and nothing really says why its just considered a classical work of literature over a work of theology. I understand that there are differences in what Dante wrote about hell and heaven in the bible and that according to the bible purgatory would be a contradiction to the word, but again I didn't find anything that stated why it isn't considered theology, only that it's considered a great work of literature. I'd love to understand the reasoning and if anyone could post links to article that actually explain why that'd be great.
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Re: Why isnt...

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:33 pm

spiderbat wrote:Hello all, I was a member years ago but had to make a new account since I completely forgot my username, email I registered with, and my password. My question however, is why isn't the Divine Comedy considered a theological text. I've done a bit of search to find the answer and nothing really says why its just considered a classical work of literature over a work of theology. I understand that there are differences in what Dante wrote about hell and heaven in the bible and that according to the bible purgatory would be a contradiction to the word, but again I didn't find anything that stated why it isn't considered theology, only that it's considered a great work of literature. I'd love to understand the reasoning and if anyone could post links to article that actually explain why that'd be great.

Probably because no one actually believes that Dante went down into hell and came back to tell the story -as far as theology is concerned, theology and fiction are mutually exclusive; Theology is about what people actually believe, think true, base their decisions on. Dante puts forth many ideas and inspired many nightmares, but it is all a comedy, and everyone who reads it is aware of this. Theology does come to pass, more so in the parts about heaven - but it is all ostensibly speculative and poetic, far too simplistic to count as a discourse on Christian morality.

A case may be made that it is a part of the theological canon, but to argue that case you'd have to find clergy that take it literal.
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Re: Why isnt...

Postby spiderbat » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:53 pm

That makes sense in a way, but at the same time there are monsters in the bible that no one had ever seen or found evidence of but the bible is take as "fact" by the majority of those who believe in Christianity. Is it that the people of the time didn't believe or that no one in general does? Was there ever a time that it was considered to be theological or has everyone always just assumed/believed it never was? It makes me think about something someone said to me once, "if Harry Potter was written around the time of the bible everyone would believe its real." So was it time period he wrote it or was it he himself that people just didn't believe?
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Re: Why isnt...

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:17 pm

Im not sure if we need to choose between these factors, as I do not think of theology as a science - so no exact grounds ar required.

Its a good indication, I think, the Harry Potter example. Im no fan of this character and don't find him as compelling as say Cain and Abel and I think few will remember him in a coupe of centuries, but had he been of more human substance, then yes he might have a future in theological discourse, granted that people forget about Rowling.

I guess the point is that no one knows who authored the stories in the Bible, so the story that God wrote or dictated it all is easier to believe if you want to believe it - it is impossible to believe that god authored Dantes work, as people know it was Dante.
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