Publisher description for Dante's testaments : essays in scriptural imagination / Peter S. Hawkins.


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Counter Dante's Testaments explores the range of Dante's reading and the extent to which he transformed what he found, whether in the biblical canon, ancient poets, or writers such as Augustine. The author argues that the independence and strength of Dante's poetic stance stems from deep and sustained experience of Christian Scriptures, not only the Bible and its commentaries, but also as experienced in sermon, liturgy, hymn, fresco, illumination, or the aphorisms of common speech. In chapters on Virgil and Ovid, Hawkins explores patterns of allusion and strategies of citation, and how Dante views them in the light of biblical revelation, correcting their vision and reorienting their understanding of history or human love. Dante picks and chooses among various classical and Christian traditions and forges imaginary links between the ancient world and his own. He rewrites Scripture by reactivating it, by writing it again.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321 Religion, Bible In literature