Category Archives: 15th Century

Truth Is Not Always As Easy As We Think It Should Be

Eric Parker’s post Luther and Valla on The Donation of Constantine: Thoughts about Truth and History is a great read. I agree with his major points. The following comment I posted there is not a critique of his view, but … Continue reading

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An Invaluable Reformation Resource (Wessel Gansfort)

This is just fantastic! I ran across Wessel Gansfort a few years ago while researching the connections between conciliarism and the Reformation, and found him to be a pivotal figure who was very influential upon Luther. These books are incredibly … Continue reading

Posted in 15th Century, 16th Century, General | 5 Comments

Sketch: Religious Humanism

Religious humanism was a variety of the humanistic endeavor that explicitly tied the new learning of the Renaissance to the explication and defense of the Christian religion. The religious humanists were all Christians working within the classical and Christian heritage … Continue reading

Posted in 15th Century, 16th Century, The Renaissance | 2 Comments

Sketch: Philosophical Humanism

Philosophical humanism was a strain of Renaissance thought which, like the other strains of humanism, creatively made use of the existing philosophical schools to shed new light on contemporary problems. It was chiefly concerned with Platonism, for in the mid-fifteenth … Continue reading

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Sketch: Civic Humanism

Civic humanism was a movement within the Italian Renaissance which focused on encouraging young men to take an interest in the government of their cities, and to educate themselves primarily in rhetoric and ethical philosophy so as to best serve … Continue reading

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Modern Mythology

According to the editors of a compilation of source documents about Columbus which I’m reading for class right now, the myth that people prior to Columbus did not know the earth was round was started by Washington Irving (1783-1859), who … Continue reading

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Plato in Paul

Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) sees a key element of Plato’s theology in Paul’s epistles: …when we investigate the reasons why every single being has been created and disposed in the way that it is (which is a question that occurs to … Continue reading

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“The Ultimate Goal of Man”

Here’s Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) on the goal of what he calls “Platonic Theology”: Our soul conceives a universal notion of truth and goodness which prompts it to seek the universal truth and aspire to the universal good. All truths are … Continue reading

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“The Basis for Understanding All Things”

In the previous post, I talked generally about Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and his idea of the prisca theologia (ancient theology) and pia philosophia (pious philosophy). Just now I’m reading through some selections from his major work, Platonic Theology on the … Continue reading

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Prisca Theologia and Pia Philosophia

Just as the idea of a great yawning antithesis between all things non-Christian and all things Christian can be overdrawn, yielding pessimistic excesses, it seems that the idea of a “prisca theologia” (ancient theology) in which the best of non-Christian … Continue reading

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