Dante's Purgatory (Group Study Edition-Video DVD Set + 1 Leader Guide + 1 Lecture Guide)
Dante's Inferno revealed some titillating details about the punishments inflicted on sinners - but in a way, we already knew what happens to people in Hell. In this second part of The Divine Comedy, Dante probes the mysteries of that strange and often misunderstood place between earth and Heaven. Virgil and Dante discover the astonishing spiritual reality of Purgatory as they climb through the terraces on Mount Purgatory. Dante created a poetic vision which might be the best imaginative representation of Purgatory ever written. Join Dante, Virgil, and Professor Esolen to continue the journey begun in the Inferno which will culminate in the ineffable beauty of Paradise.
The Course includes lifetime access to eight 30 minutes lectures, a quiz on each lecture and a PDF of the Lecture Guide. The full-color Lecture Guides provide helpful discussion questions, insightful lecture summaries, and suggested readings for each participant. Passing each quiz in the course with a minimum score of 70% gives the student a certificate of completion, which can be applied to one our certificate programs. See Certificates for more detail.
1. Introducing J. R. R. Tolkien: The Man Behind the Myth
In our first lecture, we will look at the importance of understanding the personhood and beliefs of the author in order to understand his works. We will J.R.R. Tolkien's life and his theological and philosophical beliefs.
2. True Myth: Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and the Truth of Fiction
During this second lecture, we'll discuss J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis's friendship and the philosophy of myth which developed as fruit of their friendship. This philosophy of myth shaped Tolkien's creative vision and helps us to understand the hidden meaning of The Lord of the Rings.
3. The Meaning of the Ring: "To Rule Them All, and in the Darkness Bind Them"
Our third lecture is devoted to the One Ring which seeks to rule all and bind all in darkness. We'll reveal the Ring as a symbol of sin in general and Original Sin in particular and look at the consequences of indulging in sin.
4. Of Elves and Men: Fighting the Long Defeat
This fourth lecture considers how Elves and Men are integral to Tolkien's description of The Lord of the Rings as an allegory of death and immortality. We'll also discuss the role of a memento mori, the reminder of death, in the story and how it directs us to consider the Four Last Things.
5. Seeing Ourselves in the Story: The Hobbits, Boromir, Faramir & Gollum as Everyman Figures
In this fifth lecture, we'll discover the various characters in The Lord of the Rings who reflect our humanity. Art is the mirror of reality and these characters can reflect important truths about ourselves.
6. Of Wizards and Kings: Frodo, Gandalf & Aragorn as Figures of Christ
Our sixth lecture discusses how Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn work particularly as Christ figures given certain characteristics and various points in the story. Through these characters, Tolkien introduces Christ into the story with a subtlety that refuses to be labeled as "allegory."
7. Beyond the Power of the Ring: The Riddle of Tom Bombadil & Other Neglected Characters
For our seventh lecture, we're exploring some of the lesser-known characters of The Lord of the including Tom Bombadil, Treebeard, Radagast, and others. Far from being "throw-away" characters, they all have important significance and point to Tolkien's deep Catholicism.
8. Frodo's Failure: The Triumph of Grace
During our final lecture, we'll look at the climactic moment of Frodo's failure on Mount Doom, his struggle with Gollum, and the paradox of triumphant providential grace.
Professor Anthony Esolen holds a Doctorate in Renaissance English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Professor of English at Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the translator of the celebrated three-volume Modern Library edition of Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a Senior Editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and his articles appear regularly in First Things, Catholic World Report, Magnificat, This Rock, and Latin Mass.
Joseph Pearce is Director of the Center for Faith and Culture and Writer in Residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a renowned biographer whose books include his autobiography, Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love (Saint Benedict Press, 2013); Candles in the Dark: The Authorized Biography of Fr. Ho Lung, Missionaries of the Poor (Saint Benedict Press, 2012), Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (Ignatius Press, 2010); and Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life (HarperCollins, 1998). He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Higher Education from Thomas More College for the Liberal Arts and also received the Pollock Award for Christian Biography. He is co-editor of the St. Austin Review and has hosted two series on Shakespeare for EWTN, as well as hosting several EWTN productions on J. R. R. Tolkien.
Dante's Purgatory (Group Study Edition-Video DVD Set + 1 Leader Guide + 1 Lecture Guide)
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