Cover Dies Irae: Images of the End
series "Saggi"
pp. 224, 978-88-15-07908-4
publication year 2001


Dies Irae: Images of the End

This volume is truly singular with respect to rest of the Mulino's catalogue. It comprises a series of Bible-centred reflections, which are unlike the historical and philosophical essays the Mulino usually publishes, but also quite different from Piero Boitani's brilliant literary analyses of Bible texts collected in "Re-Scriptures". Focused on selected topics and images drawn from the Holy Book, Stefani's chapters occupy a midpoint between meditation and interpretative essay; they are centred on the Bible, but also draw on Western literature and art. The volume deals with major moral, philosophical and religious issues which are embodied in selected books or passages of the of the Bible. The theme of life as seen from the standpoint of death (vanitas vanitatum), the central topic of the book of Ecclesiastes; the mystery of suffering, and especially of undeserved pain, which is embodied in Job; Abraham and the intercession of the just one who obtains God's mercy; the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the prospect of emancipation; the grand visions of the final judgement and the end of the Apocalypse. These writings are not necessarily addressed to believers alone, for the characters of the Bible express some of the great questions concerning good and evil and the meaning of life; one needn't ascribe a divine nature to the Scriptures in order to recognise the voice of humanity which issues from them.

Piero Stefani, a schoolteacher, is a renowned Biblicist and scholar of Judaism.