Love & the City T/RS 122: Introduction to christian theology

As our course moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions, I decided to focus our attention on a particular theme to unite the work we've completed thus far. That theme is "Love & the City." Note that the context remains the second General Education course required within your Catholic and Jesuit education at The University of Scranton: Introduction to Christian Theology. It follows upon your Bible course and dovetails especially with Philosophy, but also your other General Education courses in the Humanities. We are learning to live "together" under worldwide conditions of a pandemic lockdown, and so it is an appropriate time to think together about local and global citizenship by engaging Christian intellectual and spiritual traditions.

"At this time in Europe when we are beginning to hear populist speeches and witness political decisions of this selective kind it’s all too easy to remember Hitler’s speeches in 1933, which were not so different from some of the speeches of a few European politicians now. What comes to mind is another verse of Virgil’s: [forsan et haec olim] meminisse iuvabit [“Perhaps one day it will be good to remember these things too.”] We need to recover our memory because memory will come to our aid. This is not humanity’s first plague; the others have become mere anecdotes. We need to remember our roots, our tradition which is packed full of memories. In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the First Week, as well as the “Contemplation to Attain Love” in the Fourth Week, are completely taken up with remembering. It’s a conversion through remembrance. This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike, and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy. I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons. This is a time to be converted from this kind of functional hypocrisy. It’s a time for integrity. Either we are coherent with our beliefs or we lose everything." Pope Francis, early April 2020

Pope Francis mentions Virgil three times in the interview posted above. (Virgil is Dante's guide through most of the Divine Comedy.) Here the Pope uses Virgil to bolster our confidence in the task we have before us presently, namely to muster our spiritual mettle and channel the love that ennobles us and enables us to be creative each day.

"What would I say to the young people? Have the courage to look ahead, and to be prophetic. May the dreams of the old correspond to your prophecies—also Joel 3:1. Those who have been impoverished by the crisis are today’s deprived, who are added to the numbers of deprived of all times, men and women whose status is “deprived.” They have lost everything, or they are going to lose everything. What meaning does deprivation have for me, in the light of the Gospel? It means to enter into the world of the deprived, to understand that he who had, no longer has. What I ask of people is that they take the elderly and the young under their wing, that they take history under the wing, take the deprived under their wing. What comes now to mind is another verse of Virgil’s, at the end of Book 2 of the Aeneid, when Aeneas, following defeat in Troy, has lost everything. Two paths lie before him: to remain there to weep and end his life, or to follow what was in his heart, to go up to the mountain and leave the war behind. It’s a beautiful verse. Cessi, et sublato montem genitore petivi (“I gave way to fate and, bearing my father on my shoulders, made for the mountain”). This is what we all have to do now, today: to take with us the roots of our traditions, and make for the mountain."

The course you are taking is designed precisely to enable us to touch those roots of tradition so that we can go up the mountain with the resources it provides (whether we are Christian or not). Since the context for the course remains The University of Scranton, it is important that we are mindful of the "city" where our work together began and to continue to invoke it in our memories as we proceed. In the tradition of the Memory Palace to which we have alluded, especially as we read Dante, it may help some of you to close your eyes and walk your way through the places you love on the campus and the city. (I placed "city" in quotations above because The University functions for us all as a community within a community, a city within a city; hence the tensions that arise with locals and that age-old fraught relationship between the "townies" and the "gownies.")

Scranton, PA

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

As humans learn to love in this manner, what Paul calls "The Way" is brought to life. Note that the New Testament depicts Jesus as "The Way, The Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). To follow Jesus is to follow the Way on a journey to a new set of priorities founded in the love of God and the love of neighbor (see Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:36-40). The Jesuits have always understood themselves to be Companions of Jesus as they journey into the unknown (like the character played by Jeremy Irons in the film above, The Mission). We have an opportunity to envision what love of God and love of neighbor looks like today for us. Christian tradition holds that humans can be transformed daily to become more and more like God, thus manifesting God's love in our cities and our lives. Jesuit tradition encourages us especially to learn to love Jesus by imagining ourselves walking with Jesus at once through his life, but also alongside us in our daily activities, embodied in our time walking with Jesus through our own Memory Palaces.

If you used the link above on the distinction between Town and Gown, you will have registered that the origins of the conflict are in Oxford, England. Pictured here is Oxford from the perspective of Magdalene College, Oxford (on the right, with the University Gardens on the left). The Jesuits do have a presence in Oxford at Campion Hall, named after the English Jesuit Martyr Edmund Campion. (Austen Ivereigh is the one who interviewed Pope Francis in the article posted above from April 8, 2020, at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic, and he is based at Campion Hall.) A transition is provided here from comments on Jesus to the Jesuits to prepare us to understand the work of C.S. Lewis to whom you are introduced through his book called The Four Loves. Lewis spent much of his life at Oxford and prepared these ideas for radio talks aired on BBC radio in 1958. (Undoubtedly you will find some of his ideas dated, but the distinctions ground us in types of "love" we can recognize in our own lives.) The Greco-Roman context for the writings of the New Testament remains central to our reception and understanding of Jesus, as well as the history of Christianity. Lewis analyzes the inherited and widely-used Greco-Roman terms for love that influenced Christian theology. Indeed, the New Testament is credited with introducing the term "agape" into the vocabulary of love in Hellenized Palestine of the first century of the common era. The fourth love--agape--introduced by Lewis helps us understand the way love is articulated in the works of Augustine, Dante, and others in our course. Here are links to C.S. Lewis Doodles that illustrate his ideas: Storge, Philia, Eros, Agape.

As our course moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions, I decided to focus our attention on a particular theme to unite the work we've completed thus far. That theme is "Love & the City." We read Augustine's Confessions (at least the first nine books). We viewed Secret of Kells by way of filling in the historical time between Augustine and Dante, and as another example of the way Christianity is embodied within particulars times and places (Book of Kells).

The Book of Kells is Housed here at Trinity College, Dublin

We then moved on to Dante's Divine Comedy, leaving one another while completing our reading of Purgatorio. Charles Williams's The Figure of Beatrice: A Study in Dante provided us with some key insights for interpreting what he called the "Romantic Theology" of Dante. (Williams was part of the Oxford literary group that included Lewis, JRR Tolkien, et al., called The Inklings.) "What we can say about Dante, and almost all that we can say about him," writes Williams, "is that he had the genius to imagine the Way of Affirmation wholly--after a particular manner indeed, but then that is the nature of the way of the Images. If a man is called to imagine certain images, he must work in them and not in others. The record of the Dantean Way begins with three things--a woman, a city, and intellect or poetry; say again--Beatrice, Florence, and Virgil. These images are never quite separated, even in the beginning; towards the end they mingle and become a great complex image. They end with the InGodding of man" (Figure of Beatrice, 11). He introduced us to the difference between the Way of Affirmation and the Way of Negation. The latter he associated with Dionysius the Areopagite and it is called in Christian tradition apophatic theology. (Victor White in God and the Unknown clarifies the term, found in the OED definition of apophatic: "The Greeks called it apophatic theology—‘denying’ theology. St. Thomas calls it the via remotionis or the via negativa: the negative way of removing from our statements about God all that he is not."). The former, the Way of Affirmation, is called cataphatic theology. Williams gives us Athanasius as the guide in this case, whose statement on the Incarnation is behind the term "InGodding" used by Williams. The iconic phrase coined by Athanasius goes something like this: God "became what we are, so that we might become what God is." For Dante, the InGodding, the process by which humans become more and more like God, is imagined as a journey whereby the sojourner progressively becomes filled with light and love, ever-guided by those one loves. Williams thinks the Way of Affirmation is at its high-point in Dante, but that it is not without the Christian paradox of affirming and denying throughout the process of coming to know and love God. (Dante repeatedly puts into his poem the notion that we must first (1) see the good, then (2) will to pursue it, and finally learn (3) to love the good, with God being the highest good (summum bonum); the wise person is the "one who sees and rightly wills and loves" (Paradiso 17.104).). For Williams, it is Jesus who sets the stage for this admixture of ways: "Our sacred Lord, in his earthly existence, deigned to use both methods. The miracle of Cana and all the miracles of healing are works of the affirmation of images; the counsel to pluck out the eye is a counsel of the rejection of images. It is said that he so reject them for himself that he had nowhere to lay his head, and that he so affirmed them by his conduct that he was called a glutton and a wine-bibber. He commanded his disciples to abandon all images but himself and promised them, in terms of the same images, a hundred times what they had abandoned. The Crucifixion and the Death are rejection and affirmation at once, for they affirm death only to reject death; the intensity of that death is the opportunity of its own dissolution; and beyond that physical rejection of earth lies the re-affirmation of earth which is called the Resurrection" (Figure of Beatrice, 10).

Beatrice & Dante by Henry Holiday (1883)
One of William Blake's illustrations for the Divine Comedy

Behind what you have been reading and observing is a picture of a market, so central to healthy cities. According to Williams, Jesus's life, death, and resurrection provides Christians with reason to celebrate life-giving activities, such as festivals, food, dancing, and all manner of ways we express the primacy of life, a message important for all of us at this time, regardless of primary commitments with respect to faith or belief. (Sharing food and cooking may be a good creative activity for you and yours during lockdown, recalling that every Sunday in Christian tradition is enacted as a feast and festival, and that Easter is the most significant festival in the Christian calendar year. Every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection and the Liberating Light arriving from the East, the "location" of the Rising Sun.)

An icon of Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus's Resurrection & Conquering of Death

The following is the text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381 C.E.) widely recited by Christians the world over on Sundays; the Resurrection of the dead is affirmed in light of Jesus having risen on the third day, i.e. Sunday:

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets; And we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the age to come. Amen."

Mosaic Imitation of Rublev's Trinity Icon

Remember that Dante's "dream" occurs during Holy Week, especially Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Like Christ, he descends to the dead, and "resurrects" as he climbs over the haunches of frozen Satan, to emerge to the new life of the resurrected. But not without first ascending Mount Purgatory where the dross of his sin is burned away.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.

While I have accented "Love & the City" for you, I've had some reliance on Augustine's City of God 19.24. After examining common views as to what makes a city, a people, a republic, in his day and rejecting the proposals examined, Augustine says: "But if we discard this definition of a people, and, assuming another, say that a people is an assemblage of reasonable beings bound together by a common agreement as to the objects of their love, then, in order to discover the character of any people, we have only to observe what they love. Yet whatever it loves, if only it is an assemblage of reasonable beings and not of beasts, and is bound together by an agreement as to the objects of love, it is reasonably called a people; and it will be a superior people in proportion as it is bound together by higher interests, inferior in proportion as it is bound together by lower. According to this definition of ours, the Roman people is a people, and its good is without doubt a commonwealth or republic. But what its tastes were in its early and subsequent days, and how it declined into sanguinary seditions and then to social and civil wars, and so burst asunder or rotted off the bond of concord in which the health of a people consists, history shows, and in the preceding books I have related at large. And yet I would not on this account say either that it was not a people, or that its administration was not a republic, so long as there remains an assemblage of reasonable beings bound together by a common agreement as to the objects of love. But what I say of this people and of this republic I must be understood to think and say of the Athenians or any Greek state, of the Egyptians, of the early Assyrian Babylon, and of every other nation, great or small, which had a public government. For, in general, the city of the ungodly, which did not obey the command of God that it should offer no sacrifice save to Him alone, and which, therefore, could not give to the soul its proper command over the body, nor to the reason its just authority over the vices, is void of true justice." Dante's dream-journey to the heavenly city of Jerusalem is designed precisely as a means of imagining what "proper command over the body" looks like in the context of true justice, whereby the person has authority over the vices. Remember that Virgil says "lord of yourself I crown and mitre you" (Purgatorio 27.143) at the top of Mount Purgatory, before Dante is allowed to meet his beloved, Beatrice. At that point, his will has become "upright, free, and whole, and," exhorts Virgil, "you would be in error not to heed whatever your own impulse prompts you to: lord of yourself I crown and mitre you" (Purgatorio 27.140-143). Dante envisions the purgatorial journey as culminating in the ability of the person to "love, and do what you will," since that will is now properly ordered toward the highest good. The crown and mitre are symbols of earthly and spiritual authority.

The phrase "love, and do what you will" is attributed to Augustine in a sermon on love. He exhorts: "Once and for all, I give you this one short command: love, and do what you will. If you hold your peace, hold your peace out of love. If you cry out, cry out in love. If you correct someone, correct them out of love. If you spare them, spare them out of love. Let the root of love be in you: nothing can spring from it but good." Misdirected love has its "root" elsewhere, perhaps in the absence of the good, as Augustine understood evil not to be, but to appear under the guise of the absence of the good. Rather than act from the roots of goodness, misdirected and harmful love happens from a root system deprived of the rich soil of goodness. (The allusions are reminiscent of the Parable of the Sower.) Even though Dante is crowned by Virgil with this newfound freedom, he still must go through the rivers Lethe and Eunoe in order to be rid of the memory of sin and be outfitted with a new mind, with which he can properly behold Beatrice without misdirecting his love for her. His love for Beatrice can then be directed as a companion along the Way to the heavenly vision, from which she is "taking a break," as it were, to become a pilgrim herself in her aide offered as new Guide to Dante.

Dante's new mind (Eu = good; noe = mind) confirms what we noted earlier, namely that one must SEE, WILL, and LOVE. Seeing and knowing are united for Dante. We know with our minds, with our intellects. That at least is what Dante thought and what he put into the poetry of The Divine Comedy. (Later Christian writers will talk about the "heart" having knowledge, but that will take some time to be adopted. "The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them; and it hardens itself against one or the other at its will. You have rejected the one, and kept the other. Is it by reason that you love yourself?" Blaise Pascal) The new mind of Dante enables him to SEE Beatrice without objectifying her so that she becomes a companionable guide with whom he can journey into the heavenly spaces. Like Lady Justice, he is now "blind" to the potential abuses of human desire, and is able to respond justly to the new world revealed around him.

Lady Justice

It is then that he can also behold the vision of the Church, pulled by the Christ-symbol, the Griffin.


August Rodin's Gates of Hell (Paris)
Closer view of Rodin's Gates of Hell

The Inferno's "authority" is cast down to his "throne" of impotency by Divine Justice because it is a "place" marked by the refusal to respond to God's call to love, a love that is always "knocking" at the door of the human heart. Those in hell refuse the knock. Only the person can respond freely, out of love, to that "unperturbed pace" of the footfall of the ever-pursuing Hound of Heaven. True justice, on this account, would be to allow the person to reject God's love (hence Dante's vision of what "hell" is).

"Listen, I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you and you with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches." (Revelation 3:20-22)

The door can only be opened from the inside, and here is an analysis of a painting that is an allegory of this notion:

If you remember your Bible course, you will allow that word "Listen" to resonate with your memory of the Shema of Jewish theology: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). To listen, to hear, is to allow the whole of one's being to resonate with the music of Divine Will, and to become more like God. Dante imbues his poetry with these central ideas of Judaism and Christianity. They "structure" some of his content.

The Gates of Dis, for example, must be opened by a "messenger from God's Throne" (Inferno 8.82-84). The text above from Revelation says that those who open the door and conquer will be given a seat on the Throne. Later Dante will show us the Throne-room in the form of the Mystic Rose, where each heavenly person is envisioned as seated upon a Throne perfectly fitted into the harmony of the Court/Rose/Garden/City. It is a Throne "whose will none can deny" (Inferno 8.92), which is why the messenger can disregard the swarming Rebellious Angels otherwise guarding the "flaming red towers" of Dis.

Lost Souls (la perduta gente)

The infernal gates through which Dante passes contain the Way to the "suffering city" (la citta dolente), "eternal pain," that "runs among the lost" (la perduta gente; lost people). The Inferno is a collective suffering city, marked by eternal pain, and filled with the lost people, a city of lost and suffering people, without hope. It is a dolorous abyss, a "Kingdom of Eternal Night" (Inferno 4.152), a nation of lost souls (Inferno 7.25), and "Precisely at the center of that space/there yawns a well extremely wide and deep" (Inferno 18.4-5). At the center of that abyss is Satan frozen in a lake of ice, depicted as an anti-Trinitarian emblem of an ill-formed love, a love of self in the mode of betrayal. (Later John Milton in Paradise Lost (1667) will put in the mouth of Lucifer (Satan) the defiant exclamation that this angelic being would rather reign in hell, than serve in heaven; it is called the non serviam ("I will not serve") and can be traced to the Latin version of Jeremiah from the Hebrew Bible.) The anti-Trinitarian Satan is frozen, motionless, except for the wings that fan the frozen air through hell-fire, gnawing with three mouths three iconic betrayers from history and lore. The one-in-three is placed out in the deep reaches of heavenly "space," whereas Satan is frozen in a tiny lake at the center of the earth, powerless, munching on three betrayers, and weeping bitter tears.

The Trinitarian God of Dante's Christianity is Eternal dynamic motion, a motion of love that passes its life and love to all things.

God is imagined as akin to a Borromean Ring

Borromean Rings can be found carved into northern Italian castles, and may have been known to Dante.

Gustave Dore depicting Dante and Bernard beholding God

“Within the depthless deep and clear existence

of that abyss of light three circles shone—

three in color, one in circumference:

the second from the first, rainbow from rainbow;

the third, an exhalation of pure fire

equally breathed forth by the other two…

O Light Eternal fixed in Itself alone,

by Itself alone understood, which from Itself

loves and glows, self-knowing and self-known;

that second aureole which shone forth in Thee,

conceived as a reflection of the first—

or which appeared so to my scrutiny—

seemed in Itself of Its own coloration

to be painted with man’s image. I fixed my eyes

on that alone in rapturous contemplation.

Paradiso 33.115-132

On the journey from the Dolorous Abyss to Heavenly Bliss, Dante must be purified on Mount Purgatory. Here we encounter the purging of the seven deadly sins. Jerusalem is the Holy City on earth, but it is also the name of the Heavenly City toward which all humans are journeying, if they but see, will, and love the good. Olivia Holmes in Dante’s Two Beloveds: Ethics and Erotics in the Divine Comedy (Yale, 2005) points out to us that the “souls on the holy ship traveling to the island of Purgatory sing In exitu Israel de Aegypto, the opening of Psalm 113 (Purg. 2.46), and Beatrice explicitly states in the sphere of the fixed stars that Dante has come from Egypt to Jerusalem” (Holmes, 122). Please listen to the hymn in the link provided to experience precisely what Dante had in mind:

[Latin Lyrics and explanation]

As we noted above, Augustine lists Egypt and Babylon among the cities with notable governments, but misguided in their loves. Both were "plagued" by idolatry, as you recall, and both enslaved the Lord's chosen people. This life is marked by slavery and exile, but we are destined for a new home after death. The Earthly Jerusalem is guided by the Holy light of the LORD, especially the Lord incarnate on his Christian reading. It is the City set on the hill, the place of the Temple, and consequently the GLORY of the Lord, and the cite of Jesus' death and resurrection. Just as the Israelites wandered in the desert to purify themselves of the Egyptian idolatry, and just as Babylon came to be understood as a purifying exile, so too must the journey toward the free and peaceful heavenly city be marked by a purifying journey for Dante.

Dante & Virgil speak to Penitential Gluttons on Mount Purgatory

The "City" of Purgatory is structured as a citadel in the form of a spiraled mountain. The cities gates are guarded by an Angel and adorned with bas-reliefs depicting three key scenes, two of biblical Divine Glory, and one of earthly humility. David dances before the ark, the Angel Gabriel is announcing the "Hail, Mary", inaugurating the incarnation, and Emperor Trajan is serving the poor. The penitent beholds the Glory of the Lord in the Ark (which houses the Ten Commandments, key to the Torah), in Mary (who houses Jesus, God Incarnate, and thus the Torah made flesh), and then sees the kind of "crowned" person he is meant to be in exercising humility like the Emperor. The "city" is thus marked by seeing/knowing the beauty that is God's love given to the world through revelation and perfected in the transformation of earthly kings into mirror-images of the heavenly King. The "InGodding" noted by Williams returns. To be like God is to "reign from the wood of the cross," and thus enact and instantiate the power that is only present in the meekness of love. (Read this World Youth Day homily precisely on this kind of Kingship, intended originally for Palm Sunday.) The Vexilla Regis hymn contains a meditation on this paradox:

To behold these bas-reliefs upon the gates of the Purgatorial mountain allows a person to see/know the good, to will it, and thereby to love it as well. "Filling the space on both sides and behind/were mounted knights on whose great golden banners/the eagles seemed to flutter in the wind" (Purgatorio 10.76-78). The City flies its banners, emblazoned with the eagle, whom readers will meet repeatedly throughout the remaining Cantos, especially on Jupiter. The eagle was at once a symbol of the Holy Roman Empire as well as an allusion to the Grace-Filled love eloquently written about by the Gospel of John (see Tetramorph).

The image to the left is of Le Mont-Saint-Michel in northeastern France. One could imagine this as prototypical for Dante's imaginary Purgatory, though I'm not claiming he ever saw this in person. Rather, it gives one a feel of the kinds of spaces imagined by Dante, with bas-reliefs and banners flying at gates, on an island, surrounded by water, and adorned in the Glory of a fortress/mountain recognizable to his audience.

Created By
Cyrus Olsen


Created with images by olivia hutcherson - "Main Street Park City" • zatletic - "Pope Francis, stained glass window in St Paul's Cathedral in Tirana, Albania" • Noel - "Scranton Municipal Building, 2019" • sjwphotography - "Scranton, PA" • Alexey Fedorenko - "Aerial view of Oxford, United Kingdom" • Daniel Lerman - "Lady preparing artesanal food in a street market" • Van Williams - "Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland is home to the one of the most unique libraries in the world. What you can’t see is the tourists milling about looking at this classic building." • Archivist - "Dante Alighieri Italian poet sees his beloved Beatrice. Date: 1280s" • Kelsey Knight - "It was our friend’s birthday, and we celebrated with a few bottles of wine from Longshadow Ranch in Temecula, CA." • James Coleman - "I took this on the 22nd of April 2019, on the day I heard of the bombing of 3 churches on Easter Day in Sri Lanka. Jesus weeps with you. " • Tatenda Mapigoti - "Landscape photography, beautiful mountain scenary" • Birmingham Museums Trust - "The Mission of Virgil By: William Blake" • Julia - "Easter. Illustration in Byzantine style depicting the scene of the Jesus Christ's resurrection on dark blue background" • Jaroslav - "Resurrection of Jesus Christ" • zwiebackesser - "holy trinity mosaic" • Folco Masi - "untitled image" • SeanPavonePhoto - "Washington DC in Spring" • ilijaa - "Beautiful Gacka river flowing between trees and fields, summer view, Lika region of Croatia" • chones - "Statue of justice isolated on white background" • H M F - "Paris Rodin The Gates Of Hell Höllentor" • Vladimir Wrangel - "Gates of Hell by French sculptor Auguste Rodin." • jjfoto - "Fresque intérieure basilique de San Petronio" • Archivist - "Dore's Dante Demon" • alphaspirit - "New green worlds behind the door" • Olivier Le Moal - "Choosing Heaven, Purgatory or Hell" • francesco chiesa - "mass media control surreal concept" • Marco Torresin - "Lucifero" • sunsdesign0014 - "Trinity Sunday" • Archivist - "Vision of Angels - Dante. Date: 1307-21" • hipgnosis - "Christian purgatory fresco" • Archivist - "Dante - Virgil - Purgatory. Date: 1307-21" • manjik - "Mont Saint Michel, an UNESCO world heritage site in Normandy, France"