Event—Center for Renaissance Studies

Dante, Duns Scotus, and the Crisis of Representation in the Modern Age

Dante’s Commedia, with its emphasis on ineffability, bears witness to a crisis of representation concerning God, but more generally with regard to reality. Dante’s contemporary, John Duns Scotus feels the same crisis and works out a response of world-historical significance. Whereas Scotus’s metaphysical doctrine of the univocity of being leads to the scientific worldview, Dante keeps representation open to another world of mystical-religious experience. The world is no longer representable directly as literal-historical truth, but poetic allegory and metaphor gain access to truth higher and more whole than empirical fact. This workshop explores this crisis of representation that produces our contemporary secular world.

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, some or all of this workshop may be available virtually.

Learn more about the instructor, William Franke.