Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Scuola E Lumi in Italia Nell-ETA Delle Riforme (1750-1780). la Modernizzazione Dei Piani Degli Studi Nei Collegi Degli Ordini Religiosi

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Scuola E Lumi in Italia Nell-ETA Delle Riforme (1750-1780). la Modernizzazione Dei Piani Degli Studi Nei Collegi Degli Ordini Religiosi

Article excerpt

Scuola e lumi in Italia nell'eta delle riforme (1750-1780). La modernizzazione det piani degli studi nei collegi degli ordini religiosi. By Angelo Bianchi. (Brescia: Editrice La Scuola. 1996. Pp. 318. Lire 38,000 paperback.)

This is a study of plans for reforming the curricula of religious-order schools in the middle of the eighteenth century. At this time the curricula of religiousorder schools of northern Italy were heavily based on the Jesuit Ratio studiorum, a thorough if somewhat rigid program based on Latin and Greek classics and Aristotle. Governments and various thinkers loosely identified with the Enlightenment pressured religious orders to change their schools and sometimes took control.This useful book demonstrates how three pedagogical reformers responded.

Giacinto Sigismondo Gerdil (1718-1802) entered the Barnabite Order at age sixteen, then had a distinguished career as scholar and teacher at various Barnabite schools and the University of Turin, and from 1776 as a cardinal in Rome. His plan for curriculum renewal showed him to be opposed to the "libertines" of the Enlightenment, but enthusiastic for Newtonian science and wellacquainted with the work of current French scientists such as G.-L. Buffon. He wanted schools to emphasize experimental science, optics, prism experiments, the laws of gravity and dynamics, and physics and natural history generally. His new scientific synthesis left the Ratio studiorum behind.

Giuseppe Maria Pujati (no dates given), a Somaschan teacher and scholar, wrote polemics against Enlightenment irreligion, but also rejected what he saw as the corruption and metaphysical subtleties of the Ratio approach. In four letters of 1769 he outlined an integrated curriculum which emphasized the unity and simplicity of knowledge, mostly within the humanities. …

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