BU Today

Campus Life + In the World

An Infernal Life, A Divine Legacy

Peter Hawkins on the great and troubled Dante Alighieri

Peter Hawkins is not good at containing his enthusiasm. And when it comes to his great love for the writing of Dante, Hawkins, a professor of religion in the College of Arts and Sciences and winner of a 2006 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, is downright evangelical. And successfully so. Hawkins’ recently published Dante: A Brief History, is his third book about the creator of The Divine Comedy. In 1999, he published Dante’s Testaments: Essays on Scriptural Imagination and in 2005 The Poets’ Dante: Twentieth Century Reflections. Hawkins, director of the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts, says his latest work is intended to bring Dante to the generally educated reader. BU Today talked to the popular professor about what Dante can tell a 21st-century audience. Click on the slide show above to hear Hawkins’ thoughts.

Paul Heerlein can be reached at heerlein@bu.edu.