How Dante Can Save your Life
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
For the final event of the semester, author and blogger Rod Dreher returned to the Boisi Center to promote his new book, How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Saving Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem. Speaking in Fulton 511 on April 23, Dreher began with the caveat that he came to Dante’s Divine Comedy as a witness, not a scholar. In a captivating personal account of his theological, philosophical and emotional journey, he explained how the epic poem had a profound healing effect after he had found himself at a personal crossroads not unlike that of Dante himself.
Drawing parallels between his own life and the poem, Dreher explained how Dante’s conception of sin as disordered love helped him reconcile with his estranged family and lift himself out of depression. He believes God was working through Dante to heal him, but noted that the poem’s penetrating psychological insights make it relevant to secular audiences too. He then fielded questions both personal and theological from the audience; he later tweeted that BC’s audience asked the best questions of the entire book tour. Following the event, many bought copies of the book and stayed to chat with Dreher as he signed his newest work.