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 Dante’s Beatrice and The Book of Wisdom

What can be done when a society’s people and political leaders degenerate into near-unredeemable corruption and decadence? Is that society doomed? Or is there a pathway yet available for poetry to intervene and infuse new concepts into the world, without the which said society could not redeem itself?

In this RTF lecture delivered by Professor Maïa Steppenberg, the question of Dante’s use of the figure of Beatrice as guiding light to wisdom and truth within his Divine Comedy is explored at length. Professor Steppenberg investigates the deeper implications of Dante’s work, the allegories and insights into the human condition contained therein and draws powerful parallels to the Book of Wisdom contained in the apocryphal texts of the Catholic Bible.

Bio: Maïa Stepenberg is a comparatist originally from British Columbia.  She holds two Bachelor’s degrees — one in French Language and Literature from Concordia University in Montreal, and one in Russian Language and Literature from McGill University in Montreal.   She went on to complete her doctorate in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto.  She started her teaching career in Argentina, where she continues to live during sabbaticals with her Argentine husband and three sons.  She has been teaching in the Humanities Department at Dawson College in Montreal for the past dozen years, and she is the author of a book that is the culmination of both her doctoral research and her teaching experience that is called Against Nihilism:  Nietzsche Meets Dostoevsky, published by Black Rose in 2018.  She is currently at work on a new comparative study of women’s contributions to world culture. 

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