Paradiso Canto 5




Matthew Moser is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College at Azusa Pacific University. His areas of expertise include theology and literature, the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the theology of Dante, and the theology of Rowan Williams. He is also the author of the excellent reflection questions that accompany every canto!

Questions for Reflection

  • This canto begins and ends with images of overwhelming brightness that comes from the effulgence of love. Yet the central discussion of the canto centers around the topic of vows. What relationship do you see between these different elements of the canto?
  • What is the greatest gift that God has given to humanity (5.19)? Do you agree?
  • Why is making a vow so significant, according to Beatrice?
  • What are the two aspects of a vow (5.45)?
  • Are vows necessary for salvation (5.73-81)? Can you easily make and break vows?
  • Does Dante think that it is ever permissible to break a vow (552-63)?


  • Dr. Matthew Moser
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Run Time 9:20