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Passage to Modernity: Renaissance Christianity Today

Aug 18 7–8pm
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Peter J. CasarellaDuke Divinity School

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An evening webinar lecture with Peter Casarella (Duke University). Part of our summer webinar series on "Reason and Beauty in Renaissance Christian Thought and Culture," presented in collaboration with the American Cusanus Society

Historian Jacob Burckhardt (d. 1897) famously argued that Italian humanism of the fourteenth and fifteenth century paved the way inevitably to modern individualism and secularism, but more recently Burckhardt's view has been largely discredited. Contemporary thinkers, Louis Dupré and Karsten Harries, each with very distinctive accents, made decisive contributions to overcoming of Burkhardtian forerunner mentality. In this concluding webinar, Professor Casarella will explore Dupré's and Harries' contributions to a post-Burckhardtian reading of the relationship of Italian humanism to modernity and also some of the limitations of the interpretations they proposed in the light of more recent ideas regarding post-structuralism and decolonial theory. 


2020 Summer Webinar Series on "Reason and Beauty in Renaissance Christian Thought and Culture"

What do reason and beauty have to do with each other? Since the modern Enlightenment and Romantic movements, it has been tempting to see reason and beauty as separate or even opposed. In the Renaissance, however, rational and artistic pursuits bloomed together and even fed each other. Renaissance culture, including fine art, poetry, architecture, astronomy, and humanistic thought, both drew upon and extended ancient and medieval Christian intellectual traditions. This webinar course will examine different aspects of renaissance Christian thought and culture to explore how pursuits of reason interwove with the love of beauty.

This event is cosponsored by the Beatrice InstituteCalvert House, the Collegium Institute, the Genealogies of Modernity Project, the Harvard Catholic Center, the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought, and St. Paul's Catholic Center.

Peter J. Casarella is Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School. He received his PhD in Religious Studies at Yale University. Casarella previously served as professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame and as director of the Latin American North American Church Concerns (LANACC) project in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Casarella has served as president of The American Cusanus Society, The Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S. (ACHTUS), and the Academy of Catholic Theologians (ACT). He is currently serving a second five-year term on the International Roman Catholic-Baptist World Alliance Ecumenical Dialogue and served also on the Roman Catholic-World Communion of Reformed Churches Dialogue. He has authored or edited several books, including: Cuerpo de Cristo: The Hispanic Presence in the U.S. Catholic Church (1998), A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (2011), and most recently, Word as Bread: Language and Theology in Nicholas of Cusa (2017)