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Summaries of Acta Comeniana 20–21 (XLIV–XLV), 2007

Tomáš Nejeschleba

Johannes Jessenius's Conception of Method

The problem of method, which became one of the most oft-examined themes in Renaissance
philosophy, is likewise the subject of Jan Jessenius' Et Philosophiae et Medicinae Solidae Studiosis (Wittenberg 1601). In the context of contemporary discussions which ended up distinguishing between methods of cognition and methods of presentation, it is shown that Jessenius does not avail himself of this distinction – despite the fact that he is considered a student of the Paduan school. On one hand, Jessenius does distance himself from a rhetoricised form of logic which blurred the difference between method and the order of knowledge; on the other, he presents the method of attaining knowledge as a component part of the method of education. He understands logic, referring to Aristotle, mainly as an analytic art – not as dialectics. Analytics begin with induction, continues through the probabilistic syllogism, and is followed by a demonstration of the causes of things, thus drawing in essence from the progression of the demonstratio quia to the demonstratio propter quid, which the Paduan Aristotelians referred to as a regressus. According to Jessenius, however, the last phase of the whole process is definition, though its meaning is never precisely delimited. It appears that, rather than Paduan methodology, Jessenius took up the Aristotelian tradition which distinguishes four questions (num sit, quid sit, quod sit et propter quid) and associates different faculties of the human soul to each. He leaves aside the problems which were connected with the interpretation of Aristotle's texts during the Renaissance. In Jessenius' address, the question regarding whether scientific cognition is derived from first principles or first concepts (or perhaps installed in the human soul by God) remains unresolved. Johannes Jessenius thus appropriated the ideas of his Paduan teachers in a rather inconsistent manner and passed them on to his students in the same spirit, which bears witness to the level at which the methodology of science had been developed outside of its great centres at the turn of the 17th century.

Edita Štěříková

The Czech Reformation Tradition and the Church Orientation of Bohemian and Moravian Émigrés in German Lands in the 18th Century

In the eighteenth century émigrés came from Bohemia and Moravia to the German lands with the idea of becoming members of the Lutheran church. From reading Pietist literature they had gained the impression that this teaching corresponded to their religious convictions. They soon however realised that some ritual customs ran counter to their understanding and the superficial life of most Lutherans stopped them in their tracks. Their difference was predetermined by Bohemian Reformation tradition, by Pietist literature and by holding to the direct and unconditional authority of the biblical text as they understood it. When, because of their difference, they began to be looked on with suspicion, they had somehow to account for it and to identify it. Their only knowledge of Reformation tradition was of the Bohemian Reformation church, and that was the Unitas fratrum. Some were direct descendants of former Brethren families, others had at least met with the descendants of the old Czech brethren still in the Czech Lands and sought support from them. They did not call themselves the Czech Brethren while they were still in the Czech Lands, but once in exile (when they had by some means to express their independence) they had no doubts about the justness of their identification with this Bohemian Reformation church, wellknown to them by repute. They called themselves the Czech Brethren. Of the inheritance of the Unitas fratrum, closest to them was church order and discipline. However, when they spoke of the "Czech confession", they really meant by that their own religious tradition.

Eva Kowalská

Günther, Klesch, Láni and Others: A Typology of Hungarian Émigrés in the 17th Century

Thanks to the fact that ius emigrandi was accepted in early modern Europe, hundreds of thousands of people experienced exile, hoping to find better living conditions in their new country. However, the confrontation of expectation and reality frequently became a source of conflict in the context of émigré communities. Even simple coexistence in another society complicated and exarcebated the integration of the émigrés. Collective experience with suffering undoubtedly contributed to the maintenance of their identity even when living in an environment related to their confession and favourably inclined. A vivid example of this kind of exile was the emigration of the Hungarian Lutheran and frequently even Calvinist (reformed) intellectual elite in the course of the 1670s which in some respects differed from other waves of confessional exile of the early modern age. From the beginning of the seventeenth century Hungary had considerable experience with persons who declared themselves victims of religious persecution. Hungary became a refuge for Protestants thrown out of the Austrian and Czech lands of the Habsburg monarchy. However, that situation did not last very long. Hungary did not turn into a country whose political system would permanently secure the problem-free existence not only of émigrés, but even of Protestants in general. In spite of laws which modified the free practice of the protestant confessions (1608, expanded 1647), at the beginning of the 1660s intensive re-catholicisation began to be implemented, peaking with an attempt to eliminate Protestants from society and with a ban on
the public pursuance of the protestant confessions. In the course of court cases from 1673–1674 hundreds of preachers and teachers had to submit to internal emigration or leave for foreign exile. They included Daniel Klesch, Andreas Günther and Georg Láni, who could serve as examples of exile diversely perceived and experienced. All three found refuge in Germany, wrote about and analysed the situation of the preceding period of persecution in Hungary, and tried to acquire a public in Germany for the issue of the Hungarian émigrés. However, their mutual conflicts regarding the guilt of individual leading personalities of Hungarian Lutheranism for unfavourable developments showed up the deep divisions in opinion and made their acceptance in their host country difficult.

Markéta Křížová

Christian Churches and Slavery in the New World: A Comparative Perspective

The text focuses on one of the crucial phenomena of the history of American colonization – the restitution of slavery in the New World. It places this phenomenon within the frame of the intellectual history of Europe, and especially within the frame of the social-reformist, 'utopian' thinking of the Early Modern era. While the enslaving of Native Americans and black Africans revealed the aggressive nature of European expansion, it also coincided intimately with the missionary activities of Roman Catholic as well as the Protestant churches. The aim was to analyze the seemingly ambiguous efforts of missionizing slavers as a response to the intellectually challenging period of overseas discoveries. Besides being an economic institution, slavery constituted part of the effort for reform that took place within the framework of the colonizing process.
Of the three groups under consideration, two of them, the Jesuits and the 'Moravians' (members of the Protestant Unitas Fratrum, or Unity of Brethren), in spite of numerous theological differences and demonstrative mutual opposition, coincided significantly in their attitude towards slavery. The slave-operated plantation offered them a prospect of combining the vision of a traditional patriarchal order with 'modern' ideals of efficiency and engineered incentive. Both the Jesuits and the Moravians adhered to the Aristotelian ideal of an intelligent and virtuous authority ruling the irrational forces of the world, and considered themselves to be those chosen to rule and to be an example to others in secular and spiritual life, even against their will. In contrast, the critique of slavery on the part of two Capuchin missionaries contained the traditional, 'Medieval' view of Christian duty, renouncing secular activity in favour of prayer and contemplation and advocating the equalitarian strain, latently present in Christian teaching.

Simona Binková

Spanish in the Czech Lands at the Time of J. A. Comenius

The significance and propagation of Spanish in the Czech Lands grew in the 16th and 17th centuries. Thanks to the political state of affairs and the dynasticties in place, it was spoken in the court sphere as well as among family members of certain aristocratic families and it was disseminated in communication among the Catholic elites. Its use is on record in official and personal correspondence as well as in journal entries. There is an abundance of books in Spanish in Bohemian and Moravian libraries – both secular and ecclesiastic. Most of them were printed abroad (in Spain, but also in Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands), though some were printed in Prague. Closer investigation has shown that Bohemian-Spanish contacts were more plentiful in concrete cases than was generally adjudged. For this reason, more research is necessary, particularly in the noble families' archives and in the collections of printed books.
Jan Amos Comenius was born into and lived in this environment and although he himself was determined by his non-Catholic religious orientation and his subsequent exile, he also manifested a marked interest in the Spanish and Spanish-American world and its languages. This may be seen in his Janua linguarum, a creative adaptation of a linguistic work by Irish Jesuits, which was published in Salamanca, Spain, in 1611.

Joan Lluís Llinàs Begon

From Montaigne to Comenius: Philosophical and Pedagogical Issues at the Dawn of Modern Thought

The aim of this article is to establish a relationship between the philosophical and pedagogical ideas of Montaigne and Comenius in the context of the origins of modern thought. The article is divided into six parts. The first part is about Montaigne, who criticises the pedantry and schools of his time. Schools cannot educate men such as the great men of the past because they have lost the understanding that the most important aim of education is to inform judgment and understanding, To form sages and not only savants, Montaigne proposes an education based on three main axes. First, the comprehensive education of both the body and the mind; second, the rationalisation of the educational process; third, experience and history as resources to achieve this. The purpose is to form a man with a developed sense of judgment who knows how well to live and well to die. For this reason, we must pay attention to men and things, and not only to books and words.
The second part is about Comenius. The final objective of education is to partake of divine beatitude to the extent that in knowing the world, we will find reflected in it the image of God. Comenius also criticizes the schools of his time. His purpose is to create schools based in nature, that is, in the work of God.
The third part is about the differences between Montaigne and Comenius. For Montaigne education should be individual and private; for Comenius, all should be educated together in a school. For Montaigne, the result of education is the happiness of man in his terrestrial life; for Comenius, it is eternal life. In the former the misery of man stands out; in the latter, his dignity. To sum up, they are separated by their different concepts of religion.
The fourth part aims to fill the gap between Montaigne and Comenius and focuses on the role of education in works by Pierre Charron, Tommaso Campanella, Francis Bacon, Johann Heinrich Alsted and Wolfgang Ratke. Comenius follows the similar route as these authors. He defends experience and scientific knowledge; the focus on things; the use of reason to guide our life; the need to reform the educational system and the language learning; the integration of manual arts into the system of knowledge; and, finally, the unity of knowledge.
The fifth part is again a comparison between Montaigne and Comenius. They coincide in two aspects. The first is the vindication of things over words. They propose an open attitude towards the world, in opposition to a sad, fruitless and painful education. Experience plays a fundamental role, since things can only be learned by doing them. For both authors, nature is a guide. The other common aspect is self-reformation. For Comenius, education implies three degrees: self-knowledge, self-control, and an inclination towards God. Montaigne coincides at least with self-knowledge and self-control. Comenian wisdom is based on piety, on the fact that God is a model of perfection. For Montaigne, instead, man with his own abilities has to establish a criterion of goodness. Both authors, beyond their coincidences and differences, belong to one of the currents of modern thought that hopes to integrate man into the cosmos, that does not see the world as estranged from the self, that does not split body and soul. In a way, both authors are separated from the Cartesian current, which disassociates the human being in the interest of the mathematising nature.
The last part continues with a comparison, but in the area of language teaching. For both authors, language is a tool for reason. Montaigne does not work on a method of teaching, but shares with Comenius the necessity for words to be linked with comprehension and judgement. Both authors represent two moments in the early era of modern thinking and share one of the basic ways of criticizing the excess of verbalization, and defending the idea that man is a being in the world. According to Montaigne, the defence of reason and human experience is to open one's attitude towards the world and to have an education focusing on the formation and freedom of judgement. This implies a systematization of education starting from the natural order. Comenius comes closer to the scientific spirit of modernity; Montaigne to the independence of human action.

Anna Mištinová

Vives and Comenius – Reformers of European Education: Background and Parallels

Vives and Comenius had a significant influence on European thought and education. They set off from very similar starting points and arrived at kindred teachings. Both tried to reform society and both saw the best way to do so in upbringing and education conceived so as to benefit and bring harmony to individuals as well as to humankind as a whole. Their writings – on philosophy, pedagogy, ethics and the 'universal reform of human affairs' – appeared in numerous editions and were translated into many languages. The fact that Comenius was familiar with the work of the Spanish Humanist philosopher is evident in the references and citations he makes – particularly in Physicae synopsis, Didactica magna and Methodus lingvarum novissima – to J. L. Vives' De tradendis disciplinis and Introductio ad sapientiam.
A lifelong endeavour to bring about reform is apparent in the work of both learned men. They shared an interest in fostering peace and analysing the causes that bring about violence and war so as to prevent them – all in close relation to ethical and religious questions. Ethical issues and moral education are omnipresent in their work. As regards pedagogical reform, Vives opened new horizons thanks to the psychological foundations of his educational methods and Comenius produced an integrated, highly detailed framework for upbringing and education. He worked out a unified and exhaustive system comprising the subject matter to be taught, the organisation of instruction, schools and teaching methods and procedures. Both reformers emphasised the comprehensive and complex nature of education, which was to be adapted to the age of the student and his or her level of competence.
The thought and teachings of both scholars rely on an empirical-rational approach. Vives – a prominent anti-scholastic humanist – stresses the strength of reason and rationality in education, criticising scholastic instruction with its mindless memorising. Comenius does the same, ascribing great significance to joining the sensory experience of things and events with a knowledge of their underpinnings. Both agreed on the need for a direct knowledge of real things on the basis of a student's own experience in which reason relies on its perceptions of those things – thus, they both took a stand against verbalism and scholasticism. Truth and certainty in knowledge depend upon the testimony of the senses. Instruction should take the form of illustration and demonstration, not verbal transmission. Educating young people should not entail teaching them words, phrases or assertions, but opening up their comprehensive faculties toward understanding things. The principle of illustration is the basis of knowledge for Vives as it is for Comenius; it is a teaching method, an approach which ensures the comprehensibility and permanence of education. For both reformers, languages – including the mother tongue – are tools for learning about the world, in the service of the real (reales) disciplines which deal with things (res).
Vives and Comenius shared foundations, principles and stances with regard to epistemological and educational considerations as well as how they conceive of the world, basic human values, ideas on upbringing and education and principally as regards their efforts to bring about reform.

Jiří Beneš

Juan Luis Vives and Jan Amos Comenius: Inspiration in Pedagogy, Affinity in Peace Efforts

The Spanish humanist J. L. Vives (1492–1540) is the author of more than fifty writings of philosophical, historical, juridical, educational and theological orientation. Comenius (1592–1670) a century later demonstrated consciously and in a creative way a connection with many concepts in Vives' work.
We find the following points of contact concerning the reform of education and language learning:
•    Education is the task not only of the parents but also of society; at the very least, society should take care of schools and ensure the high-quality preparation of teachers;
•    Both devote an unusual attention to pre-school education;
•    The requirement of equality of opportunity for both sexes derives from the need to cultivate society as a whole, and thus is a political requirement;
•    The principle of auto-practice in teaching;
•    The linking of language and practical education, the parallelism of words and things;
•    Reflections on a universal language;
•    An identical theologically justified definition of human nature.
The attempt to improve the state of society and the maintainence of peace was common to both. Their opinions of the value of peace, of the origins and consequences of its violation are very close; however, the direct influence of Vives on Comenius is in this case difficult to assume. The relationship can rather be explained by common biblical starting points and similar personal experiences of war.
Comenius' negative position vis-à-vis violence of every kind reached its strongest expression in the incomplete working text of Clamores Eliae (Elijah's Outcries). Identically with Vives and Christian tradition, he sees the cause of wars in the fact that man has distanced himself and betrayed his nature and his mission, and tries to place himself on a level with God. Both regard pride and arrogance as a source of much evil. Vives and Comenius, each in his own way, gather many arguments to show that war is unfitting, not only in its material aspect but primarily from the moral and Christian point of view. For them, peace does not mean the mere laying aside of weapons; the condition of inner peace is the reconciliation of man with himself and with God.
Through their emphasis on ethics both thinkers go beyond the vague pacifism of the humanists. They know that only the wise man can be a peaceful person. They agree in the definition of education as care for the soul, whose functioning rids man of roughness and wildness and lets him become truly human. In this way the circle is closed that links the need for education with the striving for the establishment of peaceful relations, pedagogy with politics.

Martin Steiner

Janua lingvarum: Changes and Development of a Textbook

Isaac Habrecht's publication of the Hybernian Janua differs only slightly from the original text published in Salamanca. Comenius's transformation of Habrecht's text is on the other hand radical, both in the composition of the chosen vocabulary, and especially in concept and composition. It is a completely new text which uses its model only as an inspiration. Comenius himself is the author of another great transformation. He reorganised its 100 chapters and 1,000 sentences according to a reconsidered structure of the material discussed. In doing so he largely expanded the text, so the second version is over twice the original extension. Even stylistically, it is more complicated; simple sentences no longer predominate, being replaced by complex sentences in longer paragraphs. We also know several adaptations of Comenius's Janua by other authors. Their common feature is again an increase in the vocabulary, for the most part in conflict with Comenius's original requirements for the simplicity and accessibility of a text book intended for beginners. In his system of textbooks, Comenius later included Janua as the second level, preceding it with the Vestibulum.

Nieves Rupérez Almajano – Ana Castro Santamaría

The Real Colegio de San Patricio de Nobles Irlandeses of Salamanca

Ianua Linguarum, which was to have great infl uence on Comenius and other authors, was published in Salamanca at the beginning of the 17th century. The attribution of this work to the Jesuit William Bathe has led us to undertake the study of the Colegio de los Irlandeses, where it could have been written. The point of view taken focuses on the material nature of the building and dispenses with the more specific institutional aspects, but this does not prevent us from offering a quite broad perspective – especially as regards its economy – on what the life of this College was like from its foundation in 1592 until its move to the Jesuits' building around 1770.

Jolanta Dworzackowa

News from Poland in Correspondence between J. A. Comenius and J. N. Lilienström

The author reacts to correspondence discovered and published by Gábor Kármán in Acta Comeniana 18 (XLII). Most of the letters date from the critical period before the outbreak of the war between Sweden and Poland in 1655, two more from 1656. Comenius, under the pseudonym Ulrich Neufeld, addresses his letters to the commander of the Swedish garrison in Sczecin, Lilienström, who then informs King Charles Gustav of news gained from Comenius and Václav Sadovský. The article sets the texts in their period context and draws attention to the role played by the administrator of Leszno J. G. Schlichting, who dispatched Comenius to the Swedish camp and influenced the writing of Comenius's Panegyricus Carlo Gustavo. The author agrees with the editor of the letters that the information given by the Czech émigrés about the situation in Greater Poland and Royal Prussia to the Swedes corresponded essentially to the facts, but it was not unknown nor even very important.

Jaroslava Kašparová

Lire pour vivre: French Cultural History of Reading and Its Reception in Recent Czech Historiography

This article deals with the origin and development of the academic discipline of history of reading and reading practices, originating in connection with new historical thinking in French historiography from the mid-twentieth century, with the so called Annales School or the nouvelle histoire. The history of book culture ceased to be understood as the traditional concept of merely history of the book and book printing; book studies were enriched by a sociological dimension and encompassed the history of reading, of reading materials, and of readers' practices. The article sums up the results of French research and surveys the most substantial works, institutions and personalities which contributed to the origin of the new discipline, especially with the ideas of Roger Chartier. In his works, Chartier rejects both the view which does not take into account the period's social, political and cultural practices in which the work originated and which explains the text only on the basis of the impersonal and automatic operation of the language (the history of the book without authors and readers), and also the psychologising approaches, which on the other hand attempt to interpret the origin of the text as the act of an author's creative genius. An analysis of the form and the content of the oral, manuscript and printed texts (the method of noting or ordering of the text in the space given by the origin of the book – that is, in the context of a page, its layout, etc.) is inseparable from the study of history of the reader's appropriations.
Chartier borrowed the term appropriation from sociologists, but its application in the field of book studies makes it easier to recognise and explain phenomena such as the concept of 'popular culture' (in the sense of a certain method of using texts, transforming them and adapting them to the needs of the subsequent communities), which has led him to study texts which were in some way exceptional and those which were widely received. An important accomplishment by Chartier is the differentiation between two basic types of readers' practices – intensive, oral reading; and extensive, visual reading. The transition from one form to the other was gradual and fluent and made possible the coexistence of both types. He then interprets the history of the book as the history of readers' practices, and divides it into three basic stages – trois revolutions – in the development of writing and reading (the emergence of the codex; the expansion of silent reading as a consequence of the discovery of book printing and the associated rise of mass book production in the second half of the eighteenth century; and the rise of computer technology and internet reading and writing).
Chartier concentrated his research primarily on the behaviour and activity of the reader, but this does not mean he understands readership practices only as the mere 'anthropological' history of reading methods, attitudes and gestures, and of reading spaces. A number of human factors took part in the production of the text, its circulation and interpretation (from the author in the widest sense of the word, through the editor, patron, printer, publisher and bookseller or colporteur as far as the reader), which are set into the specific historical situation and determined politically, socially and culturally.
This article indicates in what ways the research of French and world historiography in the fi eld of the history of book culture can inspire Czech book studies, which still undervalues new trends aimed at the study of reading materials and readership practices and, unlike the general historiography, it does not take into account the new approaches in the spirit of the Annales School, is not even very much aware of such study (there is no institutional background in the Czech Republic able to develop such research consistently). Nevertheless, certain fundamentals of a newly and more widely concept of book studies have been posed. Chartier's key works have still not been translated into Czech, but in 2007 the internationally famous and popular publication by the renowned specialist Albert Manguel, The History of Reading, at least came out in Czech translation.
The author is convinced that research into the history of Czech book culture should continue both in classical book studies research aimed at the up to now partly unmapped history of book printing and history of book production (in spite of the recently published monumental Encyklopedie knihy by Petr Voit), and in research concerning the history of reading and reading materials, readership reception and readership practices.

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