Passage to Modernity: Renaissance Christianity Today

Aug 18, 2020
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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.