Workshops » Prague 2009

Apocalypticism, Millenarianism, and Prophecy: Eschatological Expectations between East-Central and Western Europe, 1560–1670

Dates: 15–16 January 2009

Venue: Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

Organisers: Vladimír Urbánek, Howard Hotson

Millenarianism was an important source of energy driving the universal reform aspirations of the mid-seventeenth century; yet despite the importance of this doctrine to Comenius and his friends, the origins and texture of their species of millenarianism has received remarkably little disciplined scholarly attention and unanswered questions regarding it abound. This workshop commissioned and brought together fresh research aiming to shed light on these and related questions from the perspective of several hitherto independent national scholarly traditions. Particular attention was paid to the interrelations between scholarly eschatological discourse and the semi-popular phenomenon of ‘new prophets’, and between millenarian reform schemes and political propaganda. The result was a surprisingly coherent account of several intertwining strands of evolving eschatological expectation. Revised versions of many of these papers will be presented at the Oxford conference in 2010 and published together as a collection.

View the Conference Report


Programme & Abstracts

Thursday, 15 January

9.00–9.15 Introduction

Session I
Chair: Professor Nicolette Mout

9.15–10.15 Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)
Intellectual Networks, Universal Reformation, and Early Modern Millenarianism

10.15–10.30 Coffee Break

10.30–11.30 Pál Ács (Institute of Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)
Humanist Historical Research and Apocalypticism: Hungarian Relations in Johannes Löwenklau’s Historia Musulmanae Turcorum (1591)

11.30–12.30 Lucie Storchová (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
Eschatological Discourses and Humanism at the University of Prague

12.30–2.00 Lunch

Session II
Chair: Dr Pál Ács

2.00–3.00 Mihály Balázs (Department of Early Hungarian Literature, University of Szeged)
Unitarian Millenarianism in Transylvania

3.00–4.00 Pavlína Cermanová (Centre for Medieval Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague/University of Konstanz)
‘Un édifice déja construit?’: Medieval Prophecy in Reformed Apocalyptic Discourse in the Seventeenth Century

4.00–4.15 Coffee Break

4.15–5.15 Peter Forshaw (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Paracelsian Apocalypse: Alchemy and Prophecy in Early Modern Central Europe

5.15–6.15 Rafał Prinke (Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego, Poznań)
‘Heliocantharus Borealis’: The Alchemist Michael Sendivogius and Fourth Monarchy Millenarianism

Friday, 16 January

Session III
Chair: Dr Vladimír Urbánek

9.00–10.00 Jana Hubková (Municipal Museum, Ústí nad Labem)
The Early Versions of Christoph Kotter’s Prophecies: Their Sources, Symbols and Relationship to pro-Palatine Pamphlets

10.00–11.00 Pavel Heřmánek (Charles University, Prague)
J. A. Comenius and Christina Poniatowska: Prophetic Revelations and Theology

11.00–11.15 Coffee Break

11.15–12.15 Martina Lisá (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas, Leipzig)
The Perception of Prophecies in Bohemian Emigré Circles: The Case of Pirna

12.15–2.00 Lunch

Session IV
Chair: Professor Howard Hotson

2.00–3.00 Vladimír Urbánek (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
The Reception of Alsted’s Eschatology among Bohemian Exiles: Partlicius, Skála and Comenius

3.00–4.00 Noémi Viskolcz (University of Szeged)
Millenarianism in Theory and Practice in the mid-Seventeenth Century: Johann Permeier’s Circle

4.00–4.15 Coffee Break

4.15–5.15 Leigh Penman (University of Melbourne)
Schola Spiritus Sancti: The Chiliastic Underground in the Holy Roman Empire, 1600–1630

5.15–6.15 Brandon Marriott (University of Oxford)
Jewish Mercantile Networks as Intermediaries in the Communication of Apocalyptic Expectations between England and the Levant

6.15–6.45 Nicolette Mout (Research Institute for History, University of Leiden)
Closing Remarks

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