Dante the Theologian: A Conversation

Oct 26, 2023
University Club of Chicago
76 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
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Jason BaxterUniversity of Notre Dame

Jennifer MartinUniversity of Notre Dame

Kenneth WoodwardLumen Christi Institute

12:00 Welcome, Blessing, Lunch is Served   |   12:30 Interview   |   1:30 End 




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All agree: Dante Alighieri was a great poet. The Divine Comedy stands as a masterwork of Western literature, integrating theology, philosophy, and history into a compelling vision of the cosmos. 

Ken Woodward, Lumen Christi’s Writer-in-Residence, will explore Dante’s greatness and enduring relevance during a luncheon conversation with esteemed scholars Jennifer Martin and Jason Baxter. This conversation will help us learn about Dante’s journey and appreciate his poetry as an entry point into theological discovery.

Jason M. Baxter is Visiting Associate Professor at Notre Dame and is currently translating the Divine Comedy for Angelico Press. He was previously Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities and Academic Dean at Wyoming Catholic College. His books include An Introduction to Christian Mysticism (2021), The Infinite Beauty of the World: Dante’s Encyclopedia and the Names of God (2020), and A Beginners Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy (2018).

Jennifer N. Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theology with a joint appointment in the Program of Liberal Studies at Notre Dame. She is working on the second edition of The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism. Her book, Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought, was one of 10 international winners of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. In 2019 she received the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Kenneth L. Woodward received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied literature with the legendary Frank O’Malley. He edited Newsweek’s Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002, which gave him a unique vantage point on and personal acquaintance with the world’s religious leaders. He is the author of Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint and The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In 2006, the University of Notre Dame gave him its Rev. Robert F. Griffin Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in writing. His most recent publication is entitled Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.