Canto 14 Paradise: resurrection of the body

In Canto 14 just before Dante ascends to the “sphere” of Mars, he witnesses the constellation of the cross and the glory of the body.

Christianity rejects the idea of the soul trapped within the body. The human is a body-soul union as Aristotle put forth. If God created things, and the things were good (see Genesis) then the body is good and the human being is whole with body and soul.

In the poetic lines of this Canto, Dante compares the glorification of the body as a luminous coal. The coal that purifies as described in Ezekiel. The coal touched to the lips of the impure man. Dante goes on to write that the body will be more luminous than the light in Paradise.

How is the body glorified? Because of the death on a cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The cross is the path of glorification. It is by the cross of Christ that we have hope, life, and salvation and eternal life in wholeness–body and soul.

The one speaking to Dante is Solomon–considered the most wise king. Jesus was part of the line of David and of course Solomon, David’s son. It is no wonder that the wisest king will describe the glory of the body and the glory of the cross and Christ–the King of Kings. The wisest because He is the Son of God. Solomon a kind of precursor of Jesus Christ.

Christ the perfect king, perfect in wisdom.


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