Workshops » Budapest 2010

Encyclopaedism, Pansophia, and Universal Communication, 1560–1670

Dates: 14–16 April 2010

Venue: Semmelweis Museum, Library, and Archives of the History of Medicine; Central European University

Organisers: Márton Szentpéteri, Gábor Kecskeméti, Benedek Varga, Márton Zászkaliczky

At the centre of Comenius’s universal reform agenda were pansophia and pampaedia: the related ideas of collecting all knowledge into a single coherent system and of teaching all things to all men. This final workshop will explore the deep roots of these audacious aspirations in central European Protestant learned culture, stretching back several generations before Comenius himself and continuing after his death. Attention will also be extended to the related project of universal communication, which has been given fresh legitimacy by recent historiographical trends. Taking as its point of departure the thesis that early modern Europe experienced a ‘media revolution’, this workshop will also trace the outgrowths of that revolution through the correspondence networks, early learned societies, new techniques for processing and distributing information, and projects for a universal language which multiplied throughout this linguistically, politically, and confessionally fragmented region.



Photographs taken by Éva Füzesséry and provided courtesy of Dr Benedek Varga and the Semmelweis Museum, Library and Archives of the History of Medicine.

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Programme & Abstracts

Wednesday, 14 April
Central European University, Popper Room

6.00 Keynote Lecture

Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)
Universal Reformation in Central and Western Europe, 1560-1670: Personal Reflections and Collaborative Opportunities

Reception at CEU

Thursday, 15 April
Semmelweis Museum, Library, and Archives of the History of Medicine

9.00–9.45 Registration

9.45–10.00 Opening Remarks by Benedek Varga, Director of SOM

10.0011.30 Session I: Science, Alchemy, Heterodoxy
Chair: Benedek Varga (SOM)

Farkas Gábor Kiss (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest/IRHT, Paris)
Alchemy in the Jesuit Order: With or Without Paracelsus?

Gábor Almásy (CEU)
Knowledge Claims and Rivalries in Sixteenth-Century Astronomical Networks

11.3011.45 Coffee Break

11.451.15 Session II: Science and Encyclopaedism
Chair: Vladimír Urbánek (Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences, Prague)

Tomáš Nejeschleba (Palacky University, Olomouc)
Iohannis Iessenii a Iessen, Novorum Problematum Centuriae quatuor: A Manuscript

Pierre-Olivier Léchot (University of Neuchâtel)
Dianoia versus Pansophia: John Dury’s Relationship to Bartholomew Keckermann

1.153.00 Lunch

Optional five-mintue walk to Gül Baba’s Tomb.

3.004.30 Session III: Apocalypse and Pansophia
Chair: Antonín Kostlán (Institute for Contemporary History, Academy of Sciences, Prague)

Leigh Penman (University of Oxford)
Radical Roots of Pansophia? Systematic Knowledge, Encyclopedia, and Apocalypse in the Works of Dissenting Lutherans, 1570-1630

Márton Szentpéteri (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest)
Instauratio templi or instauratio scientiarum? The Temple of Salomon Reconstructed as a Metaphor of Pansophia in Alsted’s and Comenius’ Works

4.304.45 Coffee Break

4.456.15 Session IV: Pansophia and its Critics
Chair: Gábor Boros (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

Markéta Klosová (Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences, Prague)
The Criticism of Comenius’s Pansophiae Prodromus by Hieronym Broniewski

József Simon (University of Szeged)
Why not Plato? Intellectual Self-Definitions of Aristotelian Radicals in Late Renaissance Transylvania

8.00 Dinner


Friday, 16 April
Semmelweis Museum, Library, and Archives of the History of Medicine

9.0010.30 Session V: Intellectual Networking
Chair: György E. Szőnyi (University of Szeged/CEU)

Vladimír Urbánek (Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague)
Prophecy and Pansophia between an Upper Hungarian Village and Amsterdam: Networking and Propagation of Mikuláš Drabík

Gábor Kármán (CEU/GWZO, Leipzig)
An Attempt for Millenarian Foreign Policy? The Journey of Bengt Skytte to the Rákóczis, 1651-1652

10.3010.45 Coffee Break

10.3012.15 Session V (cont’d): Intellectual Networking
Chair: Gábor Kecskeméti (University of Miskolc/Institute for Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)

Antonín Kostlán (Centre for the History of Sciences and Humanities, Institute for Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences, Prague)
European Calvinist Intellectual Networks and Czech Lands: A Case Study of Jan Opsimathes

György E. Szőnyi (University of Szeged/CEU)
John Dee’s Legacy and Late Humanist Hermeticism: Aspects of Geographic Distribution (England and Central Europe) and Questions of Chronology

12.152.00 Lunch

2.002.45 Library Tour (SOM)

2.454.15 Session VI: Political Communication
Chair: László Kontler (CEU)

Orsolya Vincze (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)
Reforming the Polity: Networks of Hungarian Heidelbergians and the Politics of Everyday Conduct

Márton Zászkaliczky (CEU)
Althusius and the Herborn Tradition in Apáczai Csere’s Magyar Encyclopaedia

4.154.30 Coffee Break

4.306.45 Session VII: Universal Language
Chair: Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)

Benedek Láng (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, CEU)
Cryptology as a Means of Universal Communication

Béla Hegedűs (Institute for Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)
The Ideas of György Kalmár: Theory Behind his Universal Language Plan

Gábor Boros (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
Leibniz and the Very End of the Renaissance

6.457.00 Session VIII: Closing Remarks

Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)

7.30 Visit to the Semmelweis Museum

8.30 Dinner

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