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Abstract

In this article I reflect on the importance of creation ex nihilo for our understanding of Dante's Commedia. I do so, in particular, by reflecting on the inextricable relationship existing in Dante's poem between creation ex nihilo, contemplation and charity. More specifically, I attempt to outline an understanding of how Dante's idea of the relationship between these three can be seen to underlie the very structure and narrative form of the Commedia. Through reflection on the relationship between contemplation, charity, and creation ex nihilo, I suggest, form and content might be seen, from a theological point of view, to be perfectly at one. Underlying these reflections are also some broader questions. What is the Commedia ultimately about? What is Dante's final end in writing his poem? What bearing does this have on our understanding of the form of Dante's text as a narrative poem? And what, in turn, are the broader theological implications of all this?