Inferno Canto 3




Fred Sanders is a Professor of Theology in the Torrey Honors College at Biola University. He is a systematic theologian and the author of The Triune God and Wesley on the Christian Life: The Heart Renewed in Love.

Questions for Reflection

  • What does the inscription above the gate of hell (3.1-9) tell us about the nature and purpose of Dante’s hell? How might this inscription challenge our contemporary understanding of hell?
  • The gate invokes the Trinity (Power, Wisdm, and Primal Love)  as hell’s creator. Is there any reasonable way that we can conceive of hell as an expression of divine Love?
  • What is the significance of Dante’s hell being underground, cut off from the sky and the stars?
  • Who are the first souls that Dante sees in the vestibule of hell and why is that location so significant for what is being punished in it?
  • How do the souls of the damned behave as they move toward their judgment and what does this show us about the human desire for justice (3.124-126)


  • Dr. Fred Sanders
  • Torrey Honors College
  • Run Time 11:23