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Pico—Ficino—Vetranović—Losev—Skovoroda—Montaigne—George Steiner—T.S. Eliot—Ortega y Gasset—Cassirer—Kochanowski—Gogol’— Sedakova—Vico—Solov’ev—Parandowski—Erasmus—Th. Mann—Kerenyi—Panofsky—Viacheslav Ivanov—Gershenzon—Carducci—Berdiaev—Bergson—Camus—Garin

Legacies of Humanism in East and West

Italian humanism has given us an idea of the human being and of the dignity of human being; it has formed, in ways that are still being investigated, the background for some of the most beautiful and unearthy works of art, and it has created, long before the word “philology” was introduced, the art of investigating texts and images that we are still pursuing today. At some places in some periods the humanist essence lays open—overwhelmingly—to any searching eye. This tempts us to reduce the idea of humanism to certain places, epochs and texts. The humanist works have, however, left a legacy to all parts of Europe that has been exercising its influence over centuries. Humanism was a place of longing, it seemed incompatible with the presence. The seminar is based on the assumption that humanist values and ideas can be best perceived in their longue durée. It traces the influences of the artistic and scholarly achievements of Renaissance humanists in Russian, Polish, Ukrainian and South Slavic cultures. The seminar begins with key humanist texts from the Renaissance to the present. It identifies poets, artists, philosophers and scholars who perceived themselves in the humanist tradition. It investigates the answers that were offered by humanists to social and political crises. It looks at the transformations of the humanist ideas of beauty. We will also ask how humanist ideas have shaped the idea of scholarship in the humanities and how it has created criteria for scholarly excellence. At least one week of the seminar will be dedicated to the phenomenon of Jewish (Hebrew) humanism in Eastern Europe and its historical roots.

A working bibliography can be found here. The bibliography will be updated throughout the summer and during the semester. Please feel free to join the zotero group in order to use the bibliography for your essay or M.A. thesis. You can find many source texts and studies on ILIAS.

The module will be taught by Prof. Jörg Schulte in the winter semester 2021/22. It will be open (via zoom) to all interested students from partner universities. The semester begins on October 12, 2021; the seminar takes place at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and at 12 noon on Thursdays.