Dante and a Poet’s Journey in Hope

Apr 11, 2024
Social Sciences, Room 122
1126 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Back to Events

Denys TurnerYale University, Emeritus


This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact A wine and cheese reception will follow.

This event is cosponsored by the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Medieval Studies Workshop.

Often praised for its evocative treatment of heaven and hell, Dante’s Commedia is a significant work of theology. Denys Turner will explain how Dante accomplishes by means of poetry what the formal theological treatises of the Middle Ages demonstrate through prosaic inference and proof. Poetry, Turner argues, is the most natural language to articulate the “journey of the soul into God,” and a point of entry into the mystery of the divine. Dante’s poetry discloses the theological significance of hope in the pilgrim’s journey towards the “abiding city.”

On the following day, Prof. Turner will lead a master class for students and faculty titled, "Poetry Being The Body: Theology in Dante."


Denys Turner is the Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology emeritus at Yale University. He is the author of Dante the TheologianMarxism and ChristianityEros and Allegory, and The Darkness of God, as well as many articles and papers on political and social theory in relation to Christian theology, and on medieval thought, especially the traditions of mystical theology.