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Mathematical theologies. Nicholas of Cusa and the legacy of Thierry of Chartres.

Author: David Albertson
Publisher: Cary : Oxford University Press US 2014.
Series: Oxford studies in historical theology.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The writings of theologians Thierry of Chartres (d. 1157) and Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464) represent a lost history of momentous encounters between Christianity and Pythagorean ideas before the Renaissance. Their robust Christian Neopythagoreanism reconceived the Trinity and the Incarnation within the framework of Greek number theory, challenging our contemporary assumptions about the relation of religion and modern  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David Albertson
ISBN: 9780199989737 0199989737
OCLC Number: 893409120
Awards: Winner of Winner of the 2014 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.
Description: 512 pages.
Contents: Acknowledgements ; Abbreviations ; Introduction: Toward a Genealogy of Christian Neopythagoreanism ; PART ONE ; The Genesis of Neopythagoreanism: A Synopsis ; 1. Platonic Transformations of Early Pythagorean Philosophy ; 2. The Neopythagorean Revival: Henology and Mediation ; 3. The Late Antique Preservation of Neopythagoreanism ; PART TWO ; The Pearl Diver: Thierry of Chartres's Theology of the Quadrivium ; 5. The Discovery of Folding ; 6. Thierry's Diminished Legacy ; PART THREE ; Bright Nearness: Nicholas of Cusa's Mathematical Theology ; 7. The Accidental Triumph of De docta ignorantia ; 8. Chartrian Theology on Probation in the 1440s ; 9. The Advent of theologia geometrica in the 1450s ; 10. Completing the Circle in the 1460s ; Epilogue ; Bibliography
Series Title: Oxford studies in historical theology.
Responsibility: David Albertson.

Abstract:

The writings of theologians Thierry of Chartres (d. 1157) and Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464) represent a lost history of momentous encounters between Christianity and Pythagorean ideas before the Renaissance. Their robust Christian Neopythagoreanism reconceived the Trinity and the Incarnation within the framework of Greek number theory, challenging our contemporary assumptions about the relation of religion and modern science. David Albertson surveys the slow formation of theologies of the divine One from the Old Academy through ancient Neoplatonism into the Middle Ages. Against this backdrop, Thierry of Chartres's writings stand out as the first authentic retrieval of Neopythagoreanism within western Christianity. By reading Boethius and Augustine against the grain, Thierry reactivated a suppressed potential in ancient Christian traditions that harmonized the divine Word with notions of divine Number. Despite achieving fame during his lifetime, Thierry's ideas remained well outside the medieval mainstream. Three centuries later Nicholas of Cusa rediscovered anonymous fragments of Thierry and his medieval readers, and drew on them liberally in his early works. Yet tensions among this collection of sources forced Cusanus to reconcile their competing understandings of Word and Number. Over several decades Nicholas eventually learned how to articulate traditional Christian doctrines within a fully mathematized cosmologyanticipating the situation of modern Christian thought after the seventeenth century.

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This book is a brilliant example of how much the history of ideas can still add to the history of practices, especially scholarly practices. * Richard J. Oosterhoff, Isis * Mathematization is usually Read more...

 
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