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Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

Religion has proven throughout history to be a main influence in the development of ideas in different aspects of culture. Arguably the most influential religion relating to the culture of literature and art would be Christianity. Christianity is currently the biggest religion in the world and the influence it has on society is evident from the holidays celebrated in the world, to the customs it has created. One of the biggest influences Christianity has had lies in the form of literature as evident in Dante’s Inferno. Inferno was written in the fourteenth century by Dante Alighieri and showcases Dante as he travels through his representation of hell while being guided by the poet Virgil. In ...view middle of the document...

The way Dante describes hell was a contrast from how most people viewed hell as well as the concept of sin. Most believe that in the eyes of God all sin is weighed the same which would put murder and adultery in the same category when deciding who goes to heaven and hell. Dante, however, portrays hell with different levels based on the severity of the sin ranging from those who never had a chance to accept Christ, level one, to those who have committed acts of treachery, level nine. Dante’s writings not only showcased the influence Christianity had on his work, but also showed how he disagreed with the current state of the church, particularly the papacy. Dante was a devout Christian and believed that many of those in the church, particularly Pope Boniface VIII, were the source of what was wrong in the church. This is evidenced by Dante placing him in the eighth circle of hell even though he is still alive at the moment. Dante essentially believed that the papacy was a part of God’s plan, but this gave him more of a reason to scrutinize the church when he felt transgressions were taking place (Burge). Overall, the influence of Christianity on Dante’s Inferno show both his interpretation of hell and his dissatisfaction with the way life in the church actually proceeds.
The influence that Christianity has on politics and customs is more widely recognized and seen compared to the influence on literature. Christianity started off as a religion that was illegal to practice because at the time it was considered anti-Roman. It wasn’t until the emperor Constantine came to power that religious tolerance was declared. Slowly, Christianity began to breakthrough as a major religion particularly during the time of the crusades and the battle for holy places including Jerusalem. In modern society, Christianity has exploded to become the largest religion in the world with over two billion members. Along with the rise of Christianity came the rise of what are considered Christian customs. These customs have come to include Christian holidays which tend to be celebrated a bit more universally regardless of religion nowadays. Christmas for example started as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who is the central figure in Christianity. Christmas is now often celebrated as a day of gift...

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