Nicholas of Cusa and the Making of the Early Modern World


Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Reform sheds new light on Cusanus’ relationship to early modernity by focusing on the reform of church, the reform of theology, the reform of perspective, and the reform of method – which together aim to encompass the breadth and depth of Cusanus’ own reform initiatives. In particular, in examining the way in which he served as inspiration for a wide and diverse array of reform-minded philosophers, ecclesiastics, theologians, and lay scholars in the midst of their struggle for the renewal and restoration of the individual, society, and the world, our volume combines a focus on Cusanus as a paradigmatic thinker with a study of his concrete influence on early modern thought. This volume is aimed at scholars working in the field of late medieval and early modern philosophy, theology, and history of science.
As the first Anglophone volume to explore the early modern reception of Nicholas of Cusa, this work will provide an important complement to a growing number of companions focusing on his life and thought.

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Simon J. G. Burton is John Laing Senior Lecturer in Reformation History at the University of Edinburgh. He works on late medieval and early modern theology, with a particular focus on universal reform, and has published widely in this area.
Joshua Hollmann (PhD, McGill University) is Associate Professor of Theology and Chair of the Theology Department at Concordia College-New York. He is the author of The Religious Concordance: Nicholas of Cusa and Christian-Muslim Dialogue (Brill, 2017).
Eric M. Parker received his PhD from the School of Religious Studies, McGill University. His dissertation focused on the moral theology of the Cambridge Platonist, Peter Sterry, noting his use of Nicholas of Cusa’s method of coincidence as a means of shaping human character.
"Ohne jeden Zweifel bietet der vorliegende Sammelbandanregende und förderliche Blicke auf ein Verständnis für die Rolle des Cusanus in der Entstehung der Moderne."

Harald Schwätzer, Cusanus-Hochschule Bernkastel-Kues, in Theologische Literaturzeitung 145.6

"Beyond doubt, the present anthology offers stimulating and beneficial insights into understanding the role of Cusanus in the emergence of modernity."

Harald Schwätzer, Cusanus-Hochschule Bernkastel-Kues, in Theologische Literaturzeitung 145.6
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Nicholas of Cusa: The Life of a Reformer
Simon J.G. Burton, Joshua Hollmann, and Eric M. Parker

Introduction: Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Reform: towards a Reassessment
Simon J.G. Burton, Joshua Hollmann, and Eric M. Parker

Part 1
Reformatio Generalis: Ecclesiastical Reform

1 A Difficult Pope: Eugenius IV and the Men around Him
Thomas M. Izbicki and Luke Bancroft
2 The Reform of Space for Prayer: Ecclesia primitiva in Nicholas of Cusa and Leon Battista Alberti
Il Kim
3 “Papista Insanissima”: Papacy and Reform in Nicholas of Cusa’s Reformatio Generalis (1459) and the Early Martin Luther (1517–19)
Richard J. Serina, Jr.
4 Nicholas of Cusa and Paolo Sarpi: Copernicanism and Conciliarism in Early Modern Venice
Alberto Clerici

Part 2
Coincidentia Oppositorum: Theological Reform

5 Nicholas of Cusa and Martin Luther on Christ and the Coincidence of Opposites
Joshua Hollmann
6 Ignorantia Non Docta: John Calvin and Nicholas of Cusa’s Neglected Trinitarian Legacy
Gary W. Jenkins
7 Nicholas of Cusa and Pantheism in Early Modern Catholic Theology
Matthew T. Gaetano

Part 3
Explicatio Visionis: Reform of Perspective

8 The Notion of Faith in the Works of Nicholas Cusanus and Giordano Bruno
Luisa Brotto
9 “The Sacred Circle of All-Being”: Cusanus, Lord Brooke, and Peter Sterry
Eric M. Parker
10 Varieties of Spiritual Sense: Cusanus and John Smith
Derek Michaud
11 Motion, Space, and Early Modern Re-formations of the Cosmos: Nicholas of Cusa’s Anima Mundi and Henry More’s Spirit of Nature
Nathan R. Strunk

Part 4
Mathesis Universalis: Reform of Method

12 Cusanus and Boethian Theology in the Early French Reform
Richard J. Oosterhoff
13 Nicholas Cusanus and Guillaume Postel on Learning and Docta Ignorantia
Roberta Giubilini
14 The Book Metaphor Triadized: the Layman’s Bible and God’s Books in Raymond of Sabunde, Nicholas of Cusa and Jan Amos Comenius
Petr Pavlas
15 “Squaring the Circle”: Cusan Metaphysics and the Pansophic Vision of Jan Amos Comenius
Simon J.G. Burton
16 Cusanus and Leibniz: Symbolic Explorations of Infinity as a Ladder to God
Jan Makovský

Epilogue: Ernst Cassirer and Renaissance Cultural Studies: the Figure of Nicholas of Cusa
Michael Edward Moore

All interested in reformation studies and early modern reform, as well as Nicholas of Cusa studies and early modern studies. This volume is aimed at scholars working in the field of late medieval and early modern philosophy, theology, and history of science. Keywords: Reformation, Early Modern Conciliarism, Renaissance Cultural Studies, Modernity, Metaphysics, Cambridge Platonists, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Leibnitz, Late Medieval Papacy, 1400-1700, Germany, France, England.
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