Dante's Paradiso as an illustration of mediation in Augustine's Confessions: the role of the particular in the soul's ascent

Griffin, Sarah Emily (2023) Dante's Paradiso as an illustration of mediation in Augustine's Confessions: the role of the particular in the soul's ascent. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis provides an interpretation of Augustine’s Confessions as an expression of Christian Neoplatonic mediation. In studying Augustine’s diverse inheritance central to his inspiration, I expose an ambiguity in his expression of the role of the particular in the soul’s mediative ascent. Some modern critical interpretations (Hannah Arendt and David Meconi) present Augustine largely as a Plotinian figure who denies a value to the particularity of mediative objects in the soul’s ascent. I reject these interpretations and suggest that Augustine’s theology of incarnation (the unmediated union of the ineffable and the sensible) must be employed as a central hermeneutic that allows for each mediative object to be valued qua itself as a function of the soul’s ascent into God. Dante’s Paradiso draws heavily on the metaphysics and theology of the mediative ascent of the Confessions and, further, offers a clarifying illustration of Augustine’s mediation and its dependence on incarnation. The Empyrean Heaven, the highest heaven and final vision of the entire Commedia, is illustrated as a brilliant diversity of distinct identities, most fully themselves, revolving around and illumined by the incarnate person of Christ: the unmediated union of the ineffable and sensible.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15958
Item ID: 15958
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 116-118)
Keywords: theology, metaphysics, mediation, Augustine, Platonism
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: May 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/Z4SY-TK66
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Augustine, of Hippo, Saint, 354-430. Confessiones. English; Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321. Paradiso. English ; Platonists; Christianity--Philosophy; Metaphysics; Mediation--Philosophy

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