Women Humanists in the Renaissance: Paradise and Free Speech in Moderata Fonte

Jul 7, 2020
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Tamara AlbertiniUniversity of Hawai'i at Manoa

An evening webinar lecture with Tamara Albertini (University of Hawai'i at Manoa). Part of our summer webinar series on "Reason and Beauty in Renaissance Christian Thought and Culture," presented in collaboration with the American Cusanus Society
After a brief review of women humanists like Laura Cerata, Cassandra Fedele, Lucrezia Marinella, and Isotta Nogarola, the presentation will focus on Moderata Fonte's dialogue The Merit of Women Where One Clearly Discovers How Dignified and Perfect They Are (1600). In that dialogue, Fonte creates a locus amoenus characterized by a centered garden visited by seven female interlocutors to discuss what options women have to take charge of their lives. The presentation will end by comparing and contrasting Fonte's garden with Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's paradise in his Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486)

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 Genealogies of Modernity Project, the Harvard Catholic Center, the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought, and St. Paul's Catholic Center.

Tamara Albertini is professor and chair of philosophy at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She holds a Licentiate in philosophy from the University of Basel and a Doctorate from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Germany). Her research fosuses on Renaissance and Islamic philosophy. Several notable publications of hers include Verum and Factum (editor, 1993), Marsilio Ficino. Das Problem der Vermittlung von Denken und Welt in einer Metaphysik der Einfachheit (1997); “The Seductiveness of Certainty. Fundamentalists’ Destruction of Islam’s Intellectual Legacy,” Philosophy East and West (2003); “Islamic Philosophy” in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy (sub-editor, 2011); and Charles de Bovelles’ Liber de Sapiente or Book of the Wise (co-editor, 2011). Professor Albertini has been awarded a number of national and international fellowships and grants, including a NEH travel grant for Iran and Central Asia. She is the co-founder and President of The International Charles de Bovelles Society.