In The Discipline of the Mountain Daniel Berrigan offers "ways of imagining our plight" through the poetic vision of Dante's Purgatorio. There can be found "a faithful vision, an alternative, a truthful image of God, of ourselves, of history."
Berrigan employs free, poetic adaptation of the original--its themes, moods, discourses, encounters--with a prose commentary relating the text to political-moral issues of the present day. With its themes of lust and hatred, religious strife and ecclesiastical corruption, military power and oppression, the Purgatorio is an apt allegory of modern society. Thirteenth-century kings and princes shade into twentieth-century colonels and shahs and juntas. The Discipline of the Mountain is evocatively illustrated by Robert F. McGovern.