The Infinite Beauty of the World - Dante’s Encyclopedia and the Names of God
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«The Infinite Beauty of the World offers a fascinating interpretive journey towards richer appreciation of the Commedia as a cosmological poem. Baxter compellingly invites us to encounter Dante anew as a poet who seeks to show his readers the whole of reality while embracing, in wonder, its divine mystery.» (Vittorio Montemaggi, Senior Lecturer in Religion and the Arts, King's College London, author of Reading Dante's Commedia as Theology: Divinity Realized in Human Encounter)
«Jason Baxter's new book provides the first extensive study of the tradition of the imago mundi and its significance for Dante. Drawing on a wealth of materials - biblical commentaries, glosses on ancient poets, spiritual treatises, and encyclopaedic works of various kinds - Baxter explores how medieval culture developed a rich set of practices of mental visualization so as to 'see' the cosmos in its totality from above, and he shows how Dante exploited such traditions. Elegantly written and richly documented, Baxter's book offers an important new approach to Dante's encyclopedism.» (Simon Gilson, Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian, University of Oxford)
This book proposes a radically new interpretation of the Divine Comedy’s encyclopedism by focusing on Dante’s work in light of the medieval imago mundi tradition. By bringing attention to Latin Platonism and twelfth-century authors, the work provides compelling new readings and provocative insights into key figures (e.g. Ulysses).