Essay On Idolatry In Dante's Inferno

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In Dante’s Inferno, Dante thoroughly describes what he believes Hell to be. He lists many sins, along with their punishments and placements in Hell. Strangely enough, Dante does not have a specific circle for idolatry, the worship of idols, or something other than God. This is thought to be strange because idolatry is generally considered a grave sin. One possible explanation of this is that each sin in itself can be viewed as a form of idolatry. As you engage in idolatry you begin to configure your life around your idol instead of configuring your life around God. Naturally this leads you away from God, and the farther away you become from God the more likely you are going to hell. Ultimately engaging in idolatry will lead you to hell. Dante shows this in his Inferno through many characters, such as Francesca, Ciacco, and…show more content…
He defines fraud as willful deception and believes it to be one of the worst sins. He says, “Since fraud belongs exclusively to man, God hates it more and, therefore, far below, the fraudulent are placed and suffer most.” (XI. 25-27). Dante does not name any specific souls in this circle but does claim that many bankers are in this circle. It can be assumed that these bankers committed fraud in some way that allowed them to profit. This can also be considered stealing which is a well known wrong, yet the bankers ignored this fact, and proceeded with their fraudulent actions. They put money above God, making money their idol. In this way they committed idolatry. While many may be surprised that Dante never addressed idolatry in his Inferno it can be found in the overlaying scheme of his book. Although Dante does not specifically address idolatry, each of these examples show how idolatry is at the root of many sins. Each soul put their idol whether it was food, money, or love, in front of God, and each of these acts of idolatry are what lead them to
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