The great work serves as a window into the medieval understanding of the divine and the afterlife as it was influenced and developed by the Catholic Church.
The lessons, run by Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, Frank Ambrosio, will take students through all three sections, or cantiche, of the Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Throughout each cantica, students will reflect on Dante’s interpretation of freedom, how it influences personal identity, and how the Divine Comedy can relate to the world today.
Of the class, Ambrosio says:
In this course, you will begin to question for yourself the meaning of human freedom, responsibility and identity by reading and responding to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. The Comedy, which is richly steeped in the medieval culture of 14th century, still speaks vividly to modern readers struggling with the questions “who am I?” and “what meaning or value can my life have?” Dante struggled with the same questions before coming to a moment of vision that wholly transformed him as a person.
The course is expected to take around eight weeks to complete if students commit 9-10 hours per week to their studies. As with all edX courses, however, the work load is intended to be accomplished at the pace set by each individual student. Registration for the course is free, but there is a $49 fee if participants would like a verified certificate of completion.
For more information on this free online course’s syllabus, or to register for the class, visit the edX website here.