A Practical Guide for the Writing of the Greek Accents by A. J. Koster

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By A. J. Koster

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Example text

And the third is to draw Literature so far away from Belief that their mutual contradictions are no longer deemed significant either to readers or to believers. The first way leads to the censorship of texts and the denunciation of authors on religious grounds; the second to apologetic commentaries on texts and symbolic appropriation of their authors for the sake of doctrinal concord; and the third to aesthetic objectification of the form of the text and critical detachment from the beliefs of the author.

The Sacred Poem might as well die, collapsing into a heap of “dead poetry” [morta poesì] (Purg. 7) if the poet fails to convince us that his visions are both theologically true to the Faith and poetically faithful to the Truth. CREDENTIALS What then makes us believe, and believe in, the poet of the Sacred Poem? What are Dante’s credentials for being—Dante? A confident answer to the troubling question of Dante’s authority as a poet-theologian was proposed by Raphael in two iconic portraits of the poet worked into the learned design of the frescoes for the Stanza della Segnatura adjoining the Sistine Chapel.

The Disputa visually confirms Dante’s credentials as a vernacular theologian of impeccable orthodoxy. If he were not what he appears to be in the painting, a papally approved mediator between the laity and the learned, he quite simply would not be standing there at the sacramental heart of the Vatican. Pope Julius II, who was Raphael’s patron, would surely not have permitted a heretic to show his face amid such a doctrinally rigorous company. What additional proof is needed to establish the purity of Dante’s faith when a great pope has decided that no trace of heretical irregularity, no taint of vulpine insidiousness, adheres to the poet’s fame?

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