Medieval and Renaissance Humanism: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reform

Medieval and Renaissance Humanism: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reform

Medieval and Renaissance Humanism: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reform

Medieval and Renaissance Humanism: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reform

Synopsis

This volume discusses humanist aspects of medieval and Renaissance intellectual life and thought and of their appropriation by modern history and literature. It charts the humanist representations of the scholarly enterprise, the self-representation of the intellectual, the representation of individuality in humanist literature, as well as the problem field of Renaissance humanism as an ideological programme of educational, moral, and political reform. The volume is particularly useful for medievalists and Renaissance scholars, as well as for historians specialised in the history of medieval and Renaissance art, medicine music and education.

Excerpt

From Thursday, 19 October to Saturday, 21 October 2000, the Centre for Classical, Oriental, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (COMERS) of the University of Groningen hosted an international workshop on humanist traditions in the medieval world and its aftermath. It was part of the joint research programme of The Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame and the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies funded through the University of Notre Dame and The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The goal of the workshop was to stimulate interdisciplinary approaches to the study of medieval and Renaissance humanisms by means of analytic, hermeneutic and semiotic methods and to examine the ways in which humanist thought and humanist forms of expression have resounded in post-medieval historiographical and literary projects.

The initial focus of the workshop was to take stock of humanist aspects of medieval intellectual life and thought and of its appropriation by modern history and literature after the seminal works of Colin Morris (The Discovery of the Individual, London 1972), and Robert L. Benson and Giles Constable (Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century, Cambridge, Mass. 1982). In addition, it tried to seek out new developments, covering a wide range of issues pertaining to intellectual history as an interdisciplinary field of research. Three approaches received special emphasis:

First, attention was given to 1.) (proto-) humanist philosophical orientations (including epistemological stances and the interaction between medieval Platonism and scholastic Aristotelianism) and the language and vocabulary used to frame them, and to 2.) humanist representations of the scholarly enterprise in itself (humanist ideas of scientific method and humanist representations and defences of literature and scholarly disciplines, such as logic, rhetoric, physics, metaphysics, astrology, magic, and medicine).

Secondly, a classic problem in the study of medieval and Renaissance humanism was revisited, namely that of the self-representation of the intellectual and the representation of individuality in humanist literature. Such representations appear to be ideological constructs and attempts at self-fashioning in confrontation with other narratives of . . .

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