Dante, Mercy, and the Beauty of the Human Person


Location: Eck's Visitor Center

Comprising five evenings with two lectures featured back-to-back each time, this series convenes on February 11, February 24, March 16, March 29, and April 7. The series is designed to accompany the audience as they make their way through reading Dante's Divine Comedy during Lent and into Easter. Coinciding with the Year of Mercy, this series also responds to what Pope Francis said about Dante and his poem in relation to the 750th anniversary of the poet's birth: "[The Divine Comedy] is an invitation to rediscover the lost or obscured meaning of our human path and to hope to see again the glowing horizon on which the dignity of the human person shines in its fullness." 

Academic Course: running alongside the lecture series, a 1.0 credit academic course is being offered to students. If you would still like to register for this course (THEO 30864 with the same name as this lecture series), please do so through InsideND or by contacting the instructor, Prof. Leonard DeLorenzo.


Reading Groups: whether participating in the course or not, all members of the local community are invited to join reading groups as they make their way through reading Dante’s Divine Comedy during Lent and into Easter. To join a reading group, please complete this simple form. You will be contacted to confirm final group information.

* Recommended translation:
The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso (Penguin Classics) Paperback – March 25, 2014 by Dante Alighieri (Author), Robin Kirkpatrick (Editor, Translator, Introduction): ISBN 978-0141197494

February 11

6:00pm:  Encountering Mercy: Dante, Mary, and Us

  • Prof. Vittorio Montemaggi, Departments of Romance Languages & Literatures and Theology, University of Notre Dame

7:15pm: Encountering Mercy: Dante on Forgetting, Remembering, and Learning to Speak

  • Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame

February 24

6:00pm:  The Kingdom of Irony: Augustine, Sin, and Dante’s Inferno

  • Prof. John C. Cavadini, Department of Theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director, Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

7:15pm: Dante: Knowing Oneself, Knowing God

  • Prof. Christian Moevs, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Notre Dame

March 16

6:00pm:  Beginning Midway: Reading Dante in the Midst of Life

  • Prof. Matthew Treherne, Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and and Societies, University of Leeds; Co-director, Leeds Center for Dante Studies

7:15pm: Hastening to Heal: Purgatorial Prayer and the Order of Grace

  • Prof. Leonard DeLorenzo, Department of Theology; Director, Notre Dame Vision, University of Notre Dame

March 29

6:00pm: Uniting the Eyes: From Fixation toward Fascination in the Easter Tuesday Cantos

  • Fr. Chase Pepper, C.S.C., Campus Ministry and Department of Theology, King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA

7:15pm: Geographics of Stars, Metaphysics of Light: Theological Aesthetics and the Form of Human Life in Dante'sParadiso

  • Prof. Jennifer Newsome Martin, Program of Liberal Studies and Theology, University of Notre Dame

April 7

6:00pm:  Love's Recollection: Paradiso and Healed Memory

  • Jessica Keating, Director, Office of Human Dignity & Life Initiatives, Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

7:15pm: Heaven as the Sacrifice of Praise: The Paradiso and the Overcoming of Rivalry

  • Prof. Cyril O'Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

For further information, contact Brett Robinson, brobins6@nd.edu or 574.631.6109