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Dante's Comedy

Dante's Comedy for Adults
This class is currently archived, but if you're interested in it being taught again, you can express your interest here!
08/21/2023 - 12/15/2023
Fall Semester
0.5 credits in Humanities & Electives
Grades 10-Lifelong Learning

Taught by:

About the course

In this course we will be reading the entire Comedy by Dante Alighieri, in translation, with short selections from his other works. Lectures will unpack what is happening along the pilgrim's journey, and touch on the encyclopedic nature of the poem. Discussions will be geared toward the student's understanding of the key aspects of Dante's overall project, as well as experiencing poetry as pedagogy. In addition to the reading, one poem, three brief response papers, and one longer paper will make up the required assignments.

Course Objectives

Primarily this course is aimed at giving students the opportunity to remember, understand, and love Him by whom we were made, to deepen our love of God's World, and to foster our allegiance to Christ our King, through Dante's magnum opus, the Comedy.

Students will also be able to understand and articulate something of the magnificent scope of Dante's sweeping poem; to articulate the difference between Ancient Epic and Christian Epic; to have handles on the medieval theology and political theory that undergird the poem. Students will also be given a thorough understanding of the cosmology of Dante's day, especially as it is woven into the very structure of the poem.


  • Inferno
  • Purgatorio
  • Paradiso
  • Inferno: Reader's Guide
  • Purgatorio: Reader's Guide
  • Paradiso: Reader's Guide

*All texts are published by Roman Roads Press

About the teacher

Joe Carlson Joe Carlson is pursuing his PhD in Literature at the University of Dallas. He has translated and published Dante's Divine Comedy, as well as series of Reader's Guides. He has served as a pastor for seven years, and lives in Texas with his wife and son.