(National Catholic Reporter) Exhibit questions if Dante ‘belongs’ to Catholics

The Storm Has Finally Made It Out of Me Alhamdulillah

Wangechi Mutu. ‘The Storm Has Finally Made It Out of Me Alhamdulillah’ ( 2012)/NMAFA

My review, “Exhibit questions whether Dante ‘belongs’ to Catholics,” of the National Museum of African Art’s exhibit “The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists,” appears in National Catholic Reporter.

Here’s a selection:

With recent trends in Christianity envisioning divine love and mercy trumping justice, whereas traditional Christianity, through the triptych of heaven, hell and purgatory, seemed to emphasize final justice and eternal reward and punishment, Jesuit Fr. Thomas Worcester, professor of history at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, questions what a secularized, contemporary notion of the three could mean.

“Does it mean a return to a stricter notion of justice, one in which we get what we deserve, no more and no less? Or is this too logical for a postmodern culture?” he said. “Are we left, then, with being randomly headed to some kind of heaven, hell or purgatory, for reasons beyond our knowing, and without any deity willing such a thing?”

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