Authority Revisited: Thomas More and Erasmus

Event Date: 
30 Nov 2016 to 02 Dec 2016

In the year 1516, two crucial texts for the cultural history of the West saw the light: Thomas More's Utopia and Desiderius Erasmus's Novum Instrumentum. Both of these works dealt freely with authoritative sources of western civilization and opened new pathways of thought on the eve of invasive religious and political changes.


Lectio (Leuven Centre for the Study of the Transmission of Texts and Ideas in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) and the University of Leuven, in collaboration with its RefoRC-partners the Johannes a Lasco Library Emden and the Europäische Melanchthon Akademie Bretten as well as other partners, will mark the 500th birthday of both foundational texts by organizing a conference, from November 30 through December 2, 2016. The university city of Leuven is a most appropriate place to have this conference organized, since it was intimately involved in the genesis and the history of both works.

 

The conference will be devoted to studying not only the reception and influence of Utopia and the Novum Instrumentum in (early) modern times, but also their precursors in classical antiquity, the patristic period, and the middle ages. The conference will thus lead to a better understanding of how More and Erasmus used their sources, and it will address the more encompassing question of how these two authors, through their own ideas and their use of authoritative texts, have contributed to the rise of modern western thought.

 

The conference also explicitly aims at enhancing our understanding of iconographic, book-, and art-historical aspects of the transmission of the texts under consideration, both before and after the publication of the two works.

 

This multidisciplinary Lectio conference wants to bring together international scholars working in the field of theology, art history, philosophy, history of science and historical linguistics.

 

Papers may be given in English or French and the presentation should take 20 minutes.


To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to lectio@kuleuven.be by January 15, 2016. Notification of acceptance will be given by the end of March 2016.


Invited speakers are Gillian Clark (University of Bristol), Henk Jan De Jonge (Leiden University), Günter Frank (Europäische Melanchthon Akademie), Brad Gregory (University of Notre Dame) and Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary University of London).

 

For more information, please visit: http://ghum.kuleuven.be/lectio/

Submission date for papers: 
15 Jan 2016