Classics Major

Rettig Lecture 2017

Traho-, -ere in Dante’s Commedia

 Near the very end of his journey, looking up at Beatrice in her seat in the Celestial Rose, Dante says: “Tu m'hai di servo tratto a libertate, Para. XXXI, 85 — ‘You have drawn me out of slavery into liberty’). She has drawn him from slavery to liberty using the entire concert of physical, intellectual, and spiritual tracts with which Dante has been drawn, pulled, dragged, trained, instructed, disciplined, and treated, both body and soul, throughout his entire pilgrimage. The language of the tract is the language of the fundamental duality of both teacher and student, the one who is drawing and the one who is drawn. The language of the tract is the language of the community that remembers teachers and students, how the former once were students and how the latter will someday be teachers. The language of the tract signifies the temporality of the relationship between past and future, seeking and privileging thereby what we call the kairos, that seemingly impossible moment in time, which validates history and the historical life of an ordinary individual, drawn not by wealth or power or privilege or anything like, but solely by desire, the desire for God.



R. Allen Shoaf

Rettig Lecture 2017

Saturday, October 21, 4:00-5:00

Conaton Board Room

Reception to Follow