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The Dark Side of Knowledge

Histories of Ignorance, 1400 to 1800

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Cornel Zwierlein

How can one study the absence of knowledge, the voids, the conscious and unconscious unknowns through history? Investigations into late medieval and early modern practices of measuring, of risk calculation, of ignorance within financial administrations, of conceiving the docta ignorantia as well as the silence of the illiterate are combined with contributions regarding knowledge gaps within identification procedures and political decision-making, with the emergence of consciously delimited blanks on geographical maps, with ignorance as a factor embedded in iconographic programs, in translation processes and the semantic potentials of reading. Based on thorough archival analysis, these selected contributions from conferences at Harvard and Paris are tightly framed by new theoretical elaborations that have implications beyond these cases and epochal focus.

Contributors: Giovanni Ceccarelli, Taylor Cowdery, Lucile Haguet, John T. Hamilton, Lucian Hölscher, Moritz Isenmann, Adam J. Kosto, Marie-Laure Legay, Andrew McKenzie-McHarg, Fabrice Micallef, William T. O´Reilly, Eleonora Rohland, Mathias Schmoeckel, Daniel L. Smail, Govind P. Sreenivasan, and Cornel Zwierlein.

Series:

Wietse de Boer, Karl A.E. Enenkel and Walter Melion

The Jesuit investment in images, whether verbal or visual, virtual or actual, pictorial or poetic, rhetorical or exegetical, was strong and sustained, and may even be identified as one of the order’s defining characteristics. Although this interest in images has been richly documented by art historians, theatre historians, and scholars of the emblem, the question of Jesuit image theory has yet to be approached from a multi-disciplinary perspective that examines how the image was defined, conceived, produced, and interpreted within the various fields of learning cultivated by the Society: sacred oratory, pastoral instruction, scriptural exegesis, theology, collegiate pedagogy, poetry and poetics, etc. The papers published in this volume investigate the ways in which Jesuits reflected visually and verbally on the status and functions of the imago, between the foundation of the order in 1540 and its suppression in 1773. Part I examines texts that purport explicitly to theorize about the imago and to analyze its various forms and functions. Part II examines what one might call expressions of embedded image theory, that is, various instances where Jesuit authors and artists use images implicitly to explore the status and functions of such images as indices of image-making.

Contributors include Wietse de Boer, James Clifton, Ralph Dekoninck, Karl Enenkel, Pierre Antoine Fabre, David Graham, Agnès Guiderdoni, Anna Knaap, Walter Melion, Jeffrey Muller, Hilmar Pabel, Aline Smeesters, Andrea Torre, and Steffen Zierholz

The Radical Machiavelli

Politics, Philosophy, and Language

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Edited by Filippo Del Lucchese, Fabio Frosini and Vittorio Morfino

In The Radical Machiavelli: Politics, Philosophy and Language, some of the finest Machiavellian scholars explore the Florentine’s thought five hundred years after the composition of his masterpiece, The Prince. Their analysis, however, goes past The Prince, extending to Machiavelli’s entire corpus and shining new light on his political, historical, and military works, with a special focus on their heritage in modern Marxist thought, the arena in which they reverberate most profoundly and originally.

Rather than a neutral, comprehensive, and safe interpretation, this book offers a partial and even partisan reading of Machiavelli, the 16th-century thinker who continues to divide scholars and interpreters, forcing them to confront their responsibility as contemporary thinkers in a global society where Machiavelli's ideas and the issues they address still matter.

Contributors are: Etienne Balibar, Banu Bargu, Jérémie Barthas, Thomas Berns, Alison Brown, Filippo Del Lucchese, Romain Descendre, Jean-Louis Fournel, Fabio Frosini, Giorgio Inglese, Mikko Lahtinen, Jacques Lezra, John P. McCormick, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Mohamed Moulfi, Gabriele Pedullà, Tania Rispoli, Peter D. Thomas, Sebastian Torres, Miguel Vatter, Stefano Visentin, Yves Winter, and Jean-Claude Zancarini.

Anti-Atheism in Early Modern England 1580-1720

The Atheist Answered and His Error Confuted

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Kenneth Sheppard

Atheists generated widespread anxieties between the Reformation and the Enlightenment. In response to such anxieties a distinct genre of religious apologetics emerged in England between 1580 and 1720. By examining the form and the content of the confutation of atheism, Anti-Atheism in Early Modern England demonstrates the prevalence of patterned assumptions and arguments about who an atheist was and what an atheist was supposed to believe, outlines and analyzes the major arguments against atheists, and traces the important changes and challenges to this apologetic discourse in the early Enlightenment.

The Jesuit Reading of Confucius

The First Complete Translation of the Lunyu (1687) Published in the West

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Thierry Meynard

The very name of Confucius is a constant reminder that the “foremost sage” in China was first known in the West through Latin works. The most influential of these was the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (Confucius, the Philosopher of China), published in Paris in 1687. For more than two hundred years, Western intellectuals like Leibniz and Voltaire read and meditated on the sayings of Confucius from this Latin version.
Thierry Meynard examines the intellectual background of the Jesuits in China and their thought processes in coming to understand the Confucian tradition. He presents a trilingual edition of the Lunyu, including the Chinese text, the Latin translation of the Lunyu and its commentaries, and their rendition in modern English, with notes.

Series:

Edited by Jakob Leth Fink

Suárez on Aristotelian Causality offers the first comprehensive account of Francisco Suárez’s position with respect to the four Aristotelian causes in his Metaphysical Disputations. Suárez deals with these causes in the greater part of Metaphysical Disputations 12–27 approximately a third of his famous work on metaphysics. Nevertheless, no previous attempt at analysis of causality as a part of his overall metaphysical position has been offered.
The material, formal, efficient and final cause as understood by Suárez each receives a chapter in this volume just as his general account of causality is considered. This should be relevant to anyone interested in the role and pertinence of Aristotelian causality for Suárez’s metaphysics.
Contributors (in order of appearance) are Jakob Leth Fink, Erik Åkerlund, Kara Richardson, Stephan Schmid and Sydney Penner.

Changes in Ethical Worldviews of Spanish Missionaries in Mexico

An Ethical Transition from Sight to Touch in the 16th and 17th Centuries

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Ran Tene

"Conversion" is a basic religious concept, which has manifold implications for our everyday lives. Ran Tene's Changes in Ethical Worldviews of Spanish Missionaries in Mexico utilizes a cross-disciplinary methodology in which the fields of Philosophy, History, and Literary Studies are drawn upon to analyze conversion. He focuses on two moments in Spanish writing about Mexican missions, the early to mid-sixteenth century writings of the Spanish missionaries to Mexico and the early seventeenth century manuscripts of the author/copyist Fray Juan de Torquemada. The analysis exposes changes in worldviews - including the concepts of identity, ownership, and cruelty - through missionary eyes. It suggests two theoretical models - the vision model and the model of touch - to describe these changes, which are manifested in the missionary project and in the texts that it (re)produced.

Gurdjieff and Music

The Gurdjieff/de Hartmann Piano Music and Its Esoteric Significance

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Johanna Petsche

Conflicting Values of Inquiry

Ideologies of Epistemology in Early Modern Europe

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Edited by Tamás Demeter, Kathryn Murphy and Claus Zittel

Historical research in previous decades has done a great deal to explore the social and political context of early modern natural and moral inquiries. Particularly since the publication of Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer’s Leviathan and the Air-Pump (1985) several studies have attributed epistemological stances and debates to clashes of political and theological ideologies. The present volume suggests that with an awareness of this context, it is now worth turning back to questions of the epistemic content itself. The contributors to the present collection were invited to explore how certain non-epistemic values had been turned into epistemic ones, how they had an effect on epistemic content, and eventually how they became ideologies of knowledge playing various roles in inquiry and application throughout early modern Europe.

The Making of Copernicus

Early Modern Transformations of a Scientist and his Science

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Edited by Wolfgang Neuber, Claus Zittel and Thomas Rahn

All those interested in Copernicus, transformation of images, application of metaphors, history of science,