Dante the Theologian: Ken Woodward Interviews Denys Turner

Apr 10, 2024
University Club of Chicago
76 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
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Denys TurnerYale University, Emeritus

Kenneth WoodwardLumen Christi Institute

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




The event will take place in the Front Grill.
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All agree: Dante Alighieri was a great poet. But Denys Turner insists that he was also a great theologian—and that what makes his theology great is his poetry. Moreover, Turner argues, Dante was able to write his masterpiece only after he had personally journeyed through Hell and Purgatory like Dante, the pilgrim character in The Divine Comedy. Is this the case?

Ken Woodward, former Newsweek religion editor and Lumen Christi’s Writer-in-Residence, will press these questions during a luncheon interview with Denys Turner, to help us learn about Dante’s pilgrimage in hope, and appreciate his poetry as an entry point into theological discovery.

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.

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.