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Summaries of Acta Comeniana 31 (LV)

Jan Čížek

Jan Amos Comenius and Francis Bacon: Two Early Modern Paths to the Restoration of Knowledge

Since the very beginning of modern Comenius studies there have been attempts to examine the relationship of the Czech philosopher, theologian, and educational reformer Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670) to the English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon (1561–1626). A study dealing with the efforts of both philosophers to reform philosophy (or knowledge in general) is, nevertheless, still lacking. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to introduce Comenius's relationship to the work of Francis Bacon in this regard. In the first part, the author presents an overview of Comenius's references to Bacon. The following section focuses on a description and comparison of the structure and fundamental concepts held by both Comenius and Bacon in their works relevant for the topic. In the last part of the paper, the reader will find the characteristics of both philosophers' projects of the restoration of knowledge (of their basis, idea, and goal). The author concludes that although both Comenius and Bacon directed their intellectual powers towards restoring the original immaculate knowledge of Adam, they approached its implementation in their own unique and original ways.

Keywords
Jan Amos Comenius; Francis Bacon; Early Modern philosophy; Reform of knowledge; Pansophy

Petr Pavlas

"The Best of All Possible Languages": Marin Mersenne as a Source of Comenius´ Combinatorial Approach to Language Planning

Apart from cabbalist and Lullist "philosophical combinatorics", there is a tradition of mathematical combinatorics connected with transposing letters (phones) from Cardano on. While Girolamo Cardano (1539) uses the combinations of letters as a more or less random illustration of the method of combinatorial calculations, Christopher Clavius (1570) more appropriately applies permutation and Daniel Schwenter (1636) thinks about putting all the gained "words" down. Paul Guldin (1641), moreover, enumerates the media and space needed for such an enterprise. The problem is, step by step, taken more and more seriously. Marin Mersenne and Jan Amos Comenius take this problem as a serious issue too. This study shows the influence of Marin Mersenne's Harmonie universelle (1636) on Jan Amos Comenius's combinatorial approach to language planning. The influence could be either direct or indirect (perhaps via a hypothetical translation or abstract by Theodore Haak). However, there is no doubt that Comenius was acquainted with Mersenne's project in detail. Comenius is the first thinker whose combinatorial calculations are a part of a treatise focused purely on general linguistic (Novissima linguarum methodus, 1648). Kircher's Polygraphia nova et universalis appears in 1663, Leibniz's Dissertatio de arte  combinatoria in 1666, van Helmont's Alphabeti vere naturalis Hebraici brevissima delineatio in 1667.

Keywords
Combinatorics; Combinatorial mathematics; Raymond Lull; Girolamo Cardano; Christopher Clavius; Paul Guldin; Daniel Schwenter; Marin Mersenne; Jan Amos Comeniu

Martin Žemla

Heinrich Khunrath and his Theosophical Reform

Heinrich Khunrath (1560–1605) is often seen in the tradition of Early Modern alchemists and Paracelsians. However, his monumental Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae is, formally, a theological commentary on 365 Biblical quotations. This article accentuates the theological substance of Khunrath's thought which is seen against the backdrop of Luther's doctrine and the teachings of (or ascribed to) Valentin Weigel. For Khunrath, theology is deeply interconnected with other arts and sciences because all of them must investigate the "three Divine Books" to understand the Truth. For this, theory must meet practice, prayer must be accompanied by work in laboratory, visions and personal divine revelations must be induced. Putting all these aspects together is the only way to reform sciences as well as theology, and, finally, to renovate, or regenerate, man in his incorrupt, prelapsarian state. Khunrath's vision of the necessary reform, although very vague, found an important reception in the time of the early Rosicrucian manifestos.

Keywords
Alchemy; Theosophy; Lutheran theology; Paracesianism; Valentin Weigel; Rosicrucianism; Three Divine Books; Bible; Reform

Iva Lelková, Marcela Slavíková

"The Utrecht Link": The Previously Unknown Correspondence between Jan Amos Comenius and Johann van Almeloveen

This article and an attached edition deal with newly discovered correspondence between Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670) and Johann van Almeloveen (1616–1678). It summarizes Comenius's stay in the Netherlands, his contacts and surviving letters with Dutch correspondents. Johann van Almeloveen was an active member of the republic of letters as his own correspondence attests. His life and relationship to Comenius and his circle of acquaintances is covered in detail in this paper. The edition includes six Latin letters exchanged between Almeloveen, Comenius and his son Daniel from 1667 to 1670, five of which are edited here for the first time. All letters are provided with an English translation.

Keywords
Jan Amos Comenius; Johann van Almeloveen; Dutch Republic of Letters; Early Modern Scholarly Correspondence; Correspondence Edition

Tabita Landová

Preaching according to the Apostles' Creed: Inquiry into the Origin and Purpose of Summovník by Jan Augusta

The study explores the original preaching programme created by the bishop of the Unity of the Brethren Jan Augusta. It deals with his recently discovered postil entitled Summovník [Summarium], finished in 1557 and printed in 1570, which is based on a new pericope order following the structure of the Apostles' Creed. It argues that Augusta's preaching programme should be interpreted from the perspective of his ecclesiology as an attempt to contribute to the renewal and building of the true Church of Christ. In addition, it provides arguments that the origin of Augusta's pericope order is closely linked with the so called return to Luke of Prague in the first half of the 1540s. Finally it detects the sources of inspiration not only in the domestic theological tradition of the Unity but also in the tradition of catechetical preaching in the Ancient Church.

Keywords
The Unity of the Brethren; Jan Augusta (1500–1572); Preaching; Pericopes; the Apostles' Creed

 

 

 

 

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