Conversations on the Catholic Imagination
Why Dante Matters Today
Marking the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death—and his enduring influence on the Catholic imagination in theology, art, politics, and culture. Part of our series of Conversations on the Catholic Imagination.
Featuring Fr. Stephen Gregg (Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Abbey), Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham University), Randy Boyagoda (University of Toronto), and Paul Mariani (Boston College, retired).
|Angela Alaimo O'Donnell is the Associate Director of Fordham University’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies and teaches courses in English and in American Catholic Studies. She is also a former columnist and regular contributor to America magazine. O’Donnell has published five collections of poems and other titles. In addition to poetry, O’Donnell writes essays on contemporary writers that engage literature and art in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Two new books are forthcoming in spring 2020: a critical study of Flannery O’Connor and race, and Andalusian Hours, a collection of 101 sonnets that channel the voice of Flannery O’Connor (Paraclete 2020).|
|Randy Boyagoda is the author of three novels. His latest, Original Prin, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2018 and is the first of a planned trilogy. He is Principal and Vice-President of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, where he is also Professor of English and holds the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts, and Letters. He contributes essays, reviews, and opinions to publications including The New York Times, Guardian, Commonweal, and America. A former President of PEN Canada, he is Chair of 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury and lives in Toronto with his wife and their four daughters.|
Fr. Stephen Gregg is a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, in Texas. After undergraduate studies in classics and in medieval studies at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, he entered the Cistercian monastery in 2006. He completed a licentiate in patristic theology at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome and is now a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas, where he is writing a dissertation on divine love and beauty in the poetry of Edmund Spenser. At both the University of Dallas and the Cistercian Preparatory School, he has taught courses in English literature and grammar, music, Latin, philosophy, and theology.
Paul Mariani is an award-winning poet, biographer and critic. Mariani is the author of twenty books, including eight volumes of poetry and biographies of Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Hart Crane, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the Emeritus University Professor at Boston College and lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Eileen. His most recent books are The Mystery of It All: The Vocation of Poetry in the Twilight of Modernity (Paraclete Press) and Ordinary Time: Poems (Slant Publishers).