Workshops » Cracow 2009

Educational Reform, Philosophy, and Irenicism, 1560–1670

Dates:6–8 July 2009

Venue: Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cracow

Organisers: Vladimír Urbánek, Howard Hotson, Steffen Huber

Nothing was more central to the universal reform agenda of the mid-seventeenth century than the reformation of education; and this aspiration likewise had deep roots in traditions widely diffused across central and east-central Europe. East-central Europeans returning from foreign studies not only brought with them the fruits of formal study, but also institutional models and pedagogical methods developed in the smaller states of western Germany and extremely well adapted for transplantation into the small duchies of Silesia, the marginalised confessional communities of Bohemia and Moravia, the semi-autonomous city-states of Polish Prussia, and the distant principality of Transylvania. One objective of this workshop will be to gain a synoptic understanding of these networks of academic exchange and the pedagogical debates and developments which they stimulated across this huge area.

Coupled with educational reform in the minds of Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius was the equally urgent project of ecclesiastical reconciliation. This too was grounded in concrete conditions of confessional and political geography unique to central Europe: in the provision of limited religious liberty to the princes and imperial free cities of the Holy Roman Empire after 1555, and in the even greater freedom to support dissenting churches and sects enjoyed by the nobles and princes of Poland-Lithuania, the lands of the Bohemian crown, and Hungary-Transylvania. Ignorant of these concrete historical contexts, previous studies of irenicism have generally taken irenicists’ expressions of their intentions at face value. Insufficiently familiar with earlier traditions of ecclesiastical accommodation, historians have often overlooked the deep roots of seventeenth-century irenical efforts within this confessionally fragmented region. These distortions too can best be avoided by situating further work within a collaborative international framework. Poland, with its extraordinarily rich mixture of confessional traditions in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, provides a natural focus for fresh work on this topic and an ideal venue for this workshop.

Programme & Abstracts

Monday, 6 July

9.00 Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)

9.15 Janusz K. Kozlowski (Council Delegate for International Cooperation)
Welcome Note

Session I: Ramism in East-Central Europe

9.30 Gábor Kecskeméti (Department for Old and Classic Hungarian Literary History, University of Miskolc)
Ramism in Hungary and Transylvania in the Early Modern Period

10.30 Michał Choptiany (Jagiellonian University, Cracow)
Anti-Ramist Polish Polemics: Jan Brozek

Session II: Post-Ramist Pedagogy and Eclectic Philosophy

11.30 Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)
The Post-Ramist Roots of Comenian Pansophia

1.00 Lunch

2.30 Márton Szentpéteri (Institute of Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest):
‘Cogito’ or ‘Cyclognomonica’? Combinatorial Encyclopaedia and Cartesian Meditation

3.30 Tomáš Nejeschleba (Palacký University, Olomouc)
Between Platonism and Aristotelianism: Natural Philosophy of Johannes Jessenius and His Influence on Daniel Sennert

4.30 Coffee Break

Session III: Peregrinations and Intellectual Networking

5.00 Martin Holý (Institute of History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
Bohemian and Moravian Nobility and its Connections with European Scholars in the Second Half of the 16th Century and Early 17th Century

6.00 Alan Ross
‘A serious school sickness’: Territorial Fragmentation and Pedagogical Experimentation at 17th Century Lutheran Latin Schools

Tuesday, 7 July

Session IV: Varieties of Irenicism

9.00 Jakub Koryl (Jagiellonian University, Cracow)
The Irenic Ecclesiology of Johannes a Lasco: Origins and Legacy 

10.00 Piotr Wilczek (Collegium Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw)
Antitrinitarianism, Intellectual Networks and the Problem of Irenicism in Central Europe: A Few Remarks

11.00 Steffen Huber (Jagiellonian University, Cracow)
Searching for Philosophic Fundaments of Irenicism: The Late Frycz Modrzewski

12.30 Lunch

2.00 Vladimír Urbánek (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
Early Irenic Writings of Comenius and the Polemic with the Pirna Community of Bohemian Lutherans

3.00 Hans Joachim Müller
Irenicism and the Reform of Communication

4.00 Coffee Break

4.30 Dariusz Bryćko (Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan)
The Irenic Theology of Daniel Kałaj

5.30 Alexander Schunka (Institute of History, University of Stuttgart)
Legacy or New Dawn? Reformed Irenicism and Protestant Connections between England and Central Europe in the early Eighteenth Century

Wednesday, 8 July: Excursions

8.30 Czartoryski Library
Presentation of the finest holdings of the Czartoryski Archives and Collection of Manuscripts

10.30 Wawel Castle
Royal Private Apartments and the Wawel Cathedral

12.30 Lunch

1.30 Pieskowa Skała Castle

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