Views and perspectives. Reception and images of Cusanus from the 19th to the 21st century

Alexandra Geissler's picture
Call for Papers
January 31, 2020
Subject Fields: 
European History / Studies, German History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology

Humanist, mastermind of the modern age, forerunner of the Reformation, „the Pope's Hercules against the Germans“ (Johannes Kymeus 1538), peacemaker between religions and denominations, stubborn prince of church, universal scholar - numerous and contradictory are the images that in the past centuries were drawn of Nicholas of Cusa. Every epoch of the reception of this church politician and scholar finds and invents new images of Cusanus, which often tell more about their time than about Cusanus. This is especially true for the 19th and 20th centuries, in which the author's increasing popularity and improved edition situation make the reception more extensive and follow various patterns. Depending on the motifs of the reception and its prerequisites in source knowledge and interpretation as well as the methodological and content orientation of the recipients, a specific or characteristic image of Cusanus is created. This applies to a wide-ranging reception of Cusanus in various areas to be considered as such:

• the scientific reception in philosophy, theology, history and science,

• the reception in literature and art,

• the role in the politics of the 19th to 21st centuries,

• the images of Cusanus in society, which express themselves in popularization up to the cult of personality, the shaping of politically motivated slogans, but also Cusanus images in the individual institutions of science, media and the Cusanus societies.

Insights to be gained from this analysis of the relationship between reception and image are intended to help us to think about the future and to ask: What Cusanus reception does the 21st century need? What kind of new, contemporary images of Cusanus and tasks for Cusanus research might result from this?

A wide variety of views, as perceptions or opinions, but also outlooks into the future tasks will form the framework of a conference, that will be hosted by the Institute for Cusanus Research at the University and Theological Faculty of Trier ( from 10-12 December 2020 in Trier. We are looking forward to receive suggestions for topics with a one-page abstract in German or English. Please send them to Mrs. Alexandra Geissler M.A. until 31.01.2020. (

Conception and organisation of the conference: Prof. Dr. Petra Schulte in cooperation with Dr. Marco Brösch, Alexandra Geissler M.A. and Dr. Viki Ranff.

Contact Info: 

Alexandra Geissler


Domfreihof 3, 54290 Trier


Phone: +49 651 /14551 19



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