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"Blessed Are They That Hunger After Justice": From Vice To Beatitude In Dante's Purgatorio

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Chapter Summary

This essay explores the relationship between vice and Beatitude in the second canticle of the Comedy, though in order to understand Dante's idiosyncratic use of the Beatitudes it is first necessary to understand the interpretive context in which Dante read them. He reconciles the Christian view with the Aristotelian, since Aristotle too associates a real happiness with the active life that is inferior to the ultimate happiness of the contemplative life. Nevertheless, for Dante the happiness of the active life is crucially important, more important than for many other Christian thinkers, since Dante, unlike Augustine, considers the beatitude of this life important for God's providential ordering of history. In both the Monarchia and Paradiso, Dante argues that the divine ordering of the spiritual and that of the temporal aspects of human history are thoroughly intertwined.

Keywords: Aristotle; Beatitude; blessed; christian view; Hunger; Vice



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