COMPASSION FOR THE SOULS WHO INHABIT HELL

COMPASSION FOR THE SOULS WHO INHABIT HELL - "COMPASSION FOR...

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"COMPASSION FOR THE SOULS WHO INHABIT HELL" Dante's Inferno is a 14th- century poem that seems calculated to cause the greatest possible pain to a 20th-century humanist, or to anyone who is attracted to Christianity because of its compassion and belief in the possibility of redemption. The God of the Inferno has precious little compassion and no forgiveness. He was the God who not only turned a blind eye to Belsen, but also exercised great ingenuity in constructing His own blood-chilling concentration camp, where sinners should suffer, not only during their brief lives, but for all eternity. What is particular about Dante's God is that He consigns sinners to their particular circle in Hell according to an immutable tariff of offences. No attention is paid to mitigating circumstances, or the idea of doing justice to the individual soul before the Divine Court. Hell, in short, was made on exactly the lines that the present Home Secretary would wish to impose on our present sentencing system. How do we reconcile the enjoyment of a great poem with what must seem, to many of us today, a repellent theology? Ulysses may best
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course EDS 103 taught by Professor White during the Spring '10 term at E. Kentucky.

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COMPASSION FOR THE SOULS WHO INHABIT HELL - "COMPASSION FOR...

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