The opening lines of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri launched Rod Dreher on a journey that rescued him from exile and saved his life. Dreher found that the medieval poem offered him a surprisingly practical way of solving modern problems.
Following the death of his little sister and the publication of his New York Times bestselling memoir The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Dreher found himself living in the small community of Starhill, Louisiana where he grew up. But instead of the fellowship he hoped to find, he discovered that fault lines within his family had deepened. Dreher spiraled into depression and a stress-related autoimmune disease. Doctors told Dreher that if he didn’t find inner peace, he would destroy his health. Soon after, he came across The Divine Comedy in a bookstore and was enchanted by its first lines, which seemed to describe his own condition.
In the months that followed, Dante helped Dreher understand the mistakes and mistaken beliefs that had torn him down and showed him that he had the power to change his life. Dreher knows firsthand the solace and strength that can be found in Dante’s great work, and distills its wisdom for those who are lost in the dark wood of depression, struggling with failure (or success), wrestling with a crisis of faith, alienated from their families or communities, or otherwise enduring the sense of exile that is the human condition.
Inspiring, revelatory, and packed with penetrating spiritual, moral, and psychological insights, How Dante Can Save Your Life is a book for people, both religious and secular, who find themselves searching for meaning and healing. Dante told his patron that he wrote his poem to bring readers from misery to happiness. It worked for Rod Dreher. Dante saved Rod Dreher’s life—and in this book, Dreher shows you how Dante can save yours.
"Sometimes a book comes along that you want to press into the hands of everyone you know. A brilliant, searingly honest account of one man's path to real healing, and an invitation to the rest of us to join him."
—Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Miracles and Bonhoeffer
"In a word, marvelous."
—Robert Royal, First Things
"Now everyone can find in Dreher's book the wit, wisdom, and application of the great poem to your life."
—John Mark Reynolds, provost of Houston Baptist University and author of When Athens Met Jerusalem
"Dreher has assimilated what is most urgent in Dante and makes the Divine Comedy passionately real."
—Ronald B. Herzman, SUNY, Geneseo, and co-teacher of The Great Courses lectures on The Divine Comedy
"This book, quite unexpectedly, gave me hope about my own suffering and showed me a way forward, at the same time that it affirmed and deepened my love of literature. It can do that for you too. I hope that this book falls into your hands at exactly the right moment."
—Angelina Stanford, The Circe Institute
"Dreher deftly links his own spiritual quest and Dante's journey down to the depths of hellish sin, up the steep mountain of moral cleansing, and into the glorioius precicnts of paradise, of life with God."
—Ralph C. Wood,Christianity Today
"Not simply important, but very engaging . . . the book's beauty and evangelical sincerity are quite powerful, and likely to be of benefit to one's own spiritual life."