Sun, 25 October 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Why Dante Matters

John Took

Dante Alighieri was born in a world of moral uncertainty and political violence; and within that crucible produced meditations upon the nature of human happiness that still speak to us today.

The year 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, a poet who, as T. S. Eliot put it, ‘divides the world with Shakespeare, there being no third’.

Join Professor John Took as he transports us back through the centuries to the hurly-burly world of medieval Italy, where we will meet a man whose reflections upon human wellbeing transcend time and place to speak profoundly to modern concerns.

Whether you’re a Dante novice or a seasoned veteran who has already descended through each of the nine layers of the Inferno and returned to tell the tale, this evening will blend compelling scholarship with passion, insight and wisdom, illustrating the dazzlingly rich view of human nature that elevates Dante to the pantheon of the greatest of all European authors.

The event takes place at 6:30pm BST and includes access to a replay video available 48 hours after the event to enjoy forever with no time limit.

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John Took

John Took is Professor Emeritus of Dante Studies at University College London.

Prominent among his books and articles on Dante – many of them turning on the poet’s significance as a leading representative of what Paul Tillich calls the ‘existentialist point of view’ in philosophy and theology – is his recently published intellectual biography of Dante entitled simply Dante (Princeton University Press, 2020).