Nicolaus Cusanus on Faith and the Intellect

A Case Study in 15th-Century Fides-Ratio Controversy

Series:

In Nicolaus Cusanus on Faith and the Intellect, K.M. Ziebart argues convincingly that Cusanus’ epistemology was a direct response to late-medieval debates over the relation between faith and reason—one which sought to resolve these debates by introducing a controversially strong integration of philosophy and theology.
By examining his works in the context of debates with his peers, Ziebart shows how and why Cusanus came to articulate a theory of knowledge in which faith is posited as inherent to the very structure of mind, as the vis iudiciaria, or power of judgment.
This well-grounded study sheds new light on the Cusan philosophy and expands our view of a crucial, liminal period in European intellectual history.
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Biographical Note

K.M. Ziebart, Ph.D. (2010, Freiburg), currently at Loyola University Maryland, researches the Pseudo-Dionysian and Christian Neoplatonic traditions, and is presently working on a detailed study of the Tegernsee Debate on mystical theology (Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations) with co-author David Albertson (USC).

Table of contents

Preface & Acknowledgements

List of Abbreviations

Introduction


PART I: FAITH AND REASON IN THE DEBATES AND CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING THE RECEPTION OF CUSANUS’ WORKS BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES

1. The Cusanus-Wenck debate
2. The Tegernsee debate


PART II: BEYOND THE DEBATES: FAITH AND REASON AS MIRRORED IN CUSANUS’ PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

3. The Philosopher and the Idiot: the role of Aristotelian philosophy in the philosophy and theology of Cusanus
4. The articulation of faith and reason in Cusan predication

Conclusion: Conflict or coherence? The fusion of faith and reason in Cusan philosophy and theology


APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Chronological list of letters and works related to “Tegernsee” debate on mystical theology
Appendix 2: Edition and translation excerpt from Johannes Wenck’s letter to John of Gelnhausen, 1442 (Wenck’s summary of 17 ‘proposals’ of Hans Franckfurter)
Appendix 3: Translation of excerpt from letter of Vincent of Aggsbach to John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim), February 25, 1451
Appendix 4: Translation of excerpt from the Impugnatorium Laudatorii in letter of Vincent of Aggsbach to John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim), Dec. 19, 1454
Appendix 5: Translation of excerpt from letter of Vincent of Aggsbach to John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim), June 26, 1459
Appendix 6: Translation of letter of Vincent of Aggsbach to John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim), Die 8. Michaelis, 1460
Appendix 7: Letter of Thomas Papler (Prior of Aggsbach) to John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim)
Appendix 8: Translation of notes made by John Schlitpacher (of Weilheim) and Leopold Wydemann summarizing the stages of debate and listing the respective major treatises and letters involved

Bibliography

Index

Readership

Scholars or students of Cusanus, late-medieval philosophy, or mystical theology, and anyone concerned with the Pseudo-Dionysian or Christian Neoplatonic traditions, or pre-Reformation intellectual history.