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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond


 La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) – Dante’s 14th-century visionary journey, accompanied by a spiritual guide, from the depths of hell up through the hierarchy of spheres and angels towards the Divine – has been compared to the works of his Persian literary contemporaries.

Their descriptions of mystical ascent used similar symbolism. Like much of the work of Persian poets, Dante’s spiritual pathway also begins with an earthly love that brings suffering and eventual transformation.

Possible sources that may have informed Dante's work include 13th-century translations in Latin and old French of Arabic accounts of the Prophet Muhammad’s spiritual ascension and Islamic descriptions of heaven and hell.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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