In addressing the dialogue between faith and reason in Dante's Commedia, I am embarking on an ambitious task. First, my knowledge of Dante's Italian might charitably be described as "imperfect." I know just enough Italian to know that Dante is a very great poet indeed. I am all too aware, however, that my colleagues in the Department of Languages switch from one language system to another with an ease and rapidity that I can only admire but certainly not emulate. Second, however much we may speak of Dante's Commedia as a timeless classic, the poem is clearly the product of a particular time and place — and my colleagues in History are far more capable of reconstructing that time and place than I am. Finally, when discussing such matters as "faith" and "reason," I am stumbling into territory where my colleagues in Religious Studies and Philosophy walk with assurance.


The first annual Humanities Symposium was held Feb. 28-March 1, 1994. The Humanities Symposium was part of "Viva Humanitas," a yearlong series of programs celebrating the opening of the Jesse Philips Humanities Center in August 1993.



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