Must any account of heaven be insipid? Dante's contemplative heaven, focused on the vision of God, though abstract and allegorical, is a poem of ascent that always has reference to human experience. Dante's evocation of states of bliss, often expressed through images of light, is explored, as is his attempt, in poetry, to put forth Aquinas's account of the risen soul needing to be completed by the resurrected body. A discussion follows of T. S. Eliot's description of Paradiso as following “the logic of “sensibility.” The poem is a synthesis of Christian ascetic tradition with the Aristotelian philosophy of mind, of emotion with intellect, of love with will.
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