Rewriting the Concept of Hell in Dante's Inferno

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Rewriting the Concept of Hell in Dante's Inferno The idea of making up a "Hell", or inferno, is not an experience in which I, even in my wildest thoughts, had started to imagine. Call me an optimist, but the idea of imagining Hell never appealed to me. However, as I read through the Bible, I have come across many images of hell and will now attempt to create a partial picture. As I sit imagining my inferno, I see that it would be significantly different from Dante’s inferno. I do agree that an Inferno should have stages, or circles, but fewer than that of Dante. And I do agree that the stages should be categorized by severity of actions, or sins, but I feel it more important to look at the heart of the sins instead of trying to analyze which sins were "worse". Because of my personal study, I find my worldview strikingly different then that of Dante. In my inferno I would only have three rings set up in a similar manner to Dante's. (The outer rings being that of lesser magnitude than that of the center ring.) “Unknowing” would be the first and outer circle. In this area we would find people who did not get to hear the good news, and so, because not knowing is no excuse, they were condemned to Hell. (Based on Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.)An example might be an African who has never heard of Christ and followed a false religion not knowing any other way. Second, I would place those who knew yet did not follow; those that refused belief or those that only pretended to believe for their own benefit. In this place we would see both the hypoc... ... middle of paper ... .... Imagine a concentration camp at the height of its killing. Even this description is insufficient to the agony in this ring. It would be like describing the Taj Mahal by calling it a building in Asia. This place is indescribable; the horrors there defy language. No one could stand to fathom the truly horrendousness that lies there. While I agree that my personal viewpoint is not literary genius, I do, and will stand by it. For we all have a personal concept of hell, or Inferno, and this is mine. While Dante and I compare quite well at times, at others we see about as eye to eye as a liberal Catholic and a conservative Baptist. I feel as if we strive for the same goal: to define Hell in our own eyes. In the end, I hope and pray that I never discover if our perceptions are either right or wrong. Once in Heaven, I never again wish to ponder the alternative.

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