Pansophia was one of the leading principles – if not the most important one – in the work of Ioannes Amos Comenius (1592-1670). But the idea of pansophia represented much broader intellectual current in the early modern thought. This conference will address the pansophia phenomenon as interpreted by Comenius, his forerunners, followers and critics. For Comenius, pansophia means the system of universal knowledge which represents harmony of all things. As a theologian, he grounded this idea metaphysically as the divine order of all things. As a pedagogue, he wanted to teach “everything to everyone”. As an universal reformer, he proposed an emendation of human affairs: philosophy (or knowledge), religion and politics.
The topics of papers may include, but are not limited to:
- The sources of Comenius’ pansophism;
- The interpretations of pansophism by Comenius and his contemporaries;
- The relations of pansophism to other elements of Comenian thought such as encyclopaedism, educational theory, theology, sciences, millenarianism, prophecy, irenicism, politics and universal reform;
- The connections of pansophism to other intellectual and philosophical systems and systems of worldview such as established traditions like Aristotelianism, Neo-Platonism, Neo-Stoicism, Art of Memory, Renaissance Philosophy in general, mainstream Calvinism, Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, or alternative traditions like Lullism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism and Esotericism;
- Comenius’ contemporaries and their ideas, interpretations and criticism of pansophism and related questions;
- The reception of early modern pansophism in later times and other contexts.
Interested presenters are asked to send an abstract (100-300 words, in English or German) and a short academic biography (including name, degree, and current affiliation) by 15 January 2020 to email@example.com. The conference committee will make the final selections by 1 March 2020.