Thursday, November 4, 2021

Dante and the Desire to Go Beyond the Human

Stephen Gregg at Church Life Journal

"Another reason I think Dante matters today is a particular neologism in the first canto of Paradiso, one of many words he must invent to write of Heaven: he creates the word 'trasumanar.' This is to 'transhumanize,' 'to pass beyond the human' as it is translated (we still do not really have a word for it). This verb is what Dante calls his journey, though he admits that what this means cannot be put in words 'until grace grant you the experience' (Paradiso 1.70–72). Trasumanar is a powerful word to create, and it responds to our needs today. People speak of living in a post-human world, of passing beyond what have usually been considered the boundaries imposed by human nature."

See Dante, "On World Government" from De Monarchia in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 7, and The Divine Comedy in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 21, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 19.

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