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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

 

The reception of German mysticism in early modern England, International Conference sponsored by the School of Religious Studies, McGill University and the Centre for the Study of Platonism, Cambridge University Montreal (via Zoom), 19–21 June 2021.

The project consists in establishing the fundamental influence of German or Rhenish mysticism on English religious thought, chiefly in the 17thcentury. The English reception of such German mystical authors as Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1328), the anonymous author of Theologia Germanica, Johannes Tauler (c. 1300-1361), Nicholas of Cusa (1401- 1464), Sebastian Franck (c. 1499-1542), Hans Denck (1500-1527), Valentin Weigel (1533-1588), and Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), to mention just the most significant representatives of this tradition, has been hitherto little studied, or not studied at all. There are some notable exceptions, particularly the research of Douglas Hedley on the exceptional role of the Cambridge Platonists, especially of Henry More, in the dissemination of German mysticism in England in the seventeenth century, and Nigel Smith’s monograph Perfection Proclaimed (Oxford, 1989). This project will not only reconstruct for the first time the wide-ranging reception of these German thinkers in Early Modern England, but also show that it was through this reception that the influential tradition of 'German mysticism' was first created. For instance, while in 17th-century Germany the writings of the main figure of this tradition, Jakob Böhme, went underground because of accusations of heresy, in England they were keenly translated, commented upon, and considered in relation to other German writers who had also been translated at the same time, specifically Sebastian Franck and Valentin Weigel. Through their work, the English readers thus established a lineage that connected these thinkers, and that at the same time created a philosophical bridge between England and Germany. The project will highlight the international legacy of these authors by adopting the perspective of historico-philosophical engagement with the sources, placing them also in the theological milieu of their time.

Research and Conference Steering Committee: Garth Green, Douglas Hedley, Torrance Kirby.

Time Zones

 

  • 14h00 EDT Eastern Daylight Time (Montreal) = 19h00 British Summer Time (Cambridge) = 20h00 Central European Summer Time (Munich)
  • 11h00 EDT Eastern Daylight Time (Montreal) = 16h00 British Summer Time (Cambridge) = 17h00 Central European Summer Time (Munich)
  • 10h00 EDT Eastern Daylight Time (Montreal) = 15h00 British Summer Time (Cambridge) = 16h00 Central European Summer Time (Munich)
Date: 
Saturday, 19 June, 2021 - 19:00 to Monday, 21 June, 2021 - 17:00

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