|Notes||Throughout history, individuals have sometimes experienced profound spiritual longings. Facing uncharted territory, they mapped new terrain in their search for intimacy with God. We call them Pioneers of the Spirit. Each biographical profile in this series weaves together excerpts from the personal writings of the individual, dramatic artwork, expert commentary, and a compelling narration focusing on the relevance of each pioneer to contemporary times. Today, with a renewed interest in spirituality, we can benefit enormously from these Pioneers of the Spirit who offer encouragement to every earnest seeker.
The poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)was born in Florence, Italy, the son of a notary. Dante first saw Beatrice in 1274 when he was nine years old, and she became the inspiration for his later poetic works. Her death in 1290 was a profound shock to dante. He was a soldier for a while and entered politics, in which he sided with the enemies of Pope Boniface VIII. He was eventually banished from Florence. His best known work is "The Divine Comedy" - the poet's imaginary journey to hell and purgatory.
This series also covers:
Augustine of Hippo -- a brilliant 4th-century theologian and prolific writer.
Teresa of Avila -- one of the most colorful mystics of the Medieval period.
Julian of Norwich -- she received sixteen startling images of the crucified Christ that forever changed her life.
Hildegard of Bingen -- a German nun and abbess, she was also an intellectual, writer, composer, and artist.
Ignatius Loyola -- he founded the Society of Jesus, which eventually received papal approval and is still active in education and missions.
William Blake -- his ability to tap the depths of Biblical imagery remains a gift to the ages.