Paradiso Canto 13




Tom Ward is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. He studies the Medieval philosophy, the history of philosophy, and metaphysics and teaches a course on the philosophy and theology of Dante.

Questions for Reflection

  • Why depict this heaven primarily as a dance? How does that fit the themes of harmony and reconciliation and difference that have emerged throughout these cantos of the sun?
  • To whom do the souls of the theologians offer praise (13.25-27)? Why does Dante draw the contrast between the theologians praising the Trinity rather than the praises of Bacchus or Paean? Why are the souls of the wise so preoccupied with the Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ?
  • What makes both Adam and Christ different from every other human person (13.52-87)? How might Dante’s understanding here help us interpret St. Paul’s argument about Adam and Christ in Romans 5-8?
  • Why does St. Thomas urge Dante not to be rash in making judgments (13.130-142)? How might this be an important part of wisdom?


  • Dr. Tom Ward
  • Baylor University
  • Run Time 9:50