Please consider submitting an article to a Special Issue of the international, peer-reviewed, open-access online journal Humanities, titled: "In terra per le vostre scole" (Par. XXIX, 70): Dante’s Paradiso and the Medieval Academic World. We welcome contributions in English that investigate Dante’s complex relationship to the medieval academic world from various points of view as it emerges in the Paradiso, as well as contributions shedding light on the protagonists or debates of the medieval academic world that play a role in the third cantica. The volume we would like to present aims to address these and other questions, making use of an interdisciplinary method. Please send an expression of interest and an abstract to the Editors by 15 February 2023. The deadline for the final submission of the articles is 31 August 2023. Articles will be subject to strict selection by the editors and a third reviewer. Information about the journal, deadlines, and content is available here: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/N7S53E7F3N
At the end of Purgatory, Beatrice draws attention to the distance between God’s truth and the human sciences, as represented by the various “schools” on earth. An ‘anti-academic’ attitude – that is, a critical attitude with regard to the “schools on earth” and the intellectual elites of the era – recurs throughout Dante’s work, from the Convivio to the Monarchia. The origins of this ‘anti-academism’ is to be found in the poet’s intellectual formation, from his Florentine formation at the “schools of the religious orders” to his probable attendance at the Bolognese Studium. However, Dante’s relationship with the medieval academic world emerges most clearly in the Paradiso, where he addresses several of the controversies that the academic circles of the time debated, from the ‘moonspots’ to the role of divine justice. If the poet appears receptive to the doctrinal stances of the main late-medieval masters, he also repeatedly adopts autonomous and potentially controversial doctrinal positions. The Paradiso also depicts characters and images reminiscent of the academic world: for instance, Beatrice’s criticism of preachers and those who “filosofeggiano”, Sigier of Brabant alongside Thomas and Bonaventure in the Heaven of the Sun, the simile of the ‘baccellier’ in Par. XXIV, and so on. In particular, the peaceful reunification of the Wise Spirits of the Heaven of the Sun raises the question of whether Dante’s aforementioned ‘anti-academism’ reflects his ambition to build a new ‘school’ on earth, based on the direct acceptance of the divine word and the abandonment of useless sophism. Despite the great attention Dante Studies has paid to these issues, many questions remain unanswered. By what material means did Dante acquire these doctrinal positions? Why did he adopt these positions? Is it possible to identify the targets of his criticisms and potentially polemical stances within the late-medieval intellectual environment? More generally, how did Dante conceive of poetry’s role in the academic context of his times? What is the poetry’s potential as a mediator of scientific truth?
Prof. Dr. Franziska Meier: Franziska.Meier@phil.uni-goettingen.de
Dr. Lorenzo Dell'Oso