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Cusanus: The Legacy of Learned Ignorance
  • Peter J. Casarella, DePaul University

The thought of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) draws upon a rich heritage of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance traditions and ties these traditions together into a synthesis that continues to evoke new ideas in philosophy, theology, aesthetics, history, political theory, and the philosophy of science. This volume offers a detailed historical background to Cusanus’s thinking while also assaying his significance for the present. It brings together major contributions from the English-speaking world as well as voices from Europe. Each essay represents a fresh new perspective on Cusanus—the cardinal, philosopher, theologian, political theorist, mathematician, and humanist from the fifteenth century.

The collection encompasses four kinds of research on Cusanus. One approach focuses on the ancient and medieval tradition of which Nicholas saw himself to be a part. A second mode of inquiry looks at particular ideas or texts of Cusanus in their own right. A third method treats Cusanus in terms of his relationship to other thinkers of the fifteenth century. Finally, a fourth perspective opens the door to a contemporary retrieval of Cusanus’s thought. Never before have so many disciplinary perspectives been collected together in a single volume on Nicholas of Cusa. The diverse voices of the volume are thus attuned to the multifaceted heritage of the thinker of the fifteenth century but speak in a compelling way for the need to reconsider his novel integration of thought today.

The book will appeal not only to specialists in the thought of Cusanus but also to individuals who are interested in learning how the personal and intellectual legacy of a German cardinal from the fifteenth century can still provoke so much interest among a global community of scholars today.

  • cusanus,
  • nicholas of cusa,
  • learned ignorance,
  • medieval,
  • philosophy,
  • theology,
  • aesthetics,
  • history,
  • political theory,
  • philosophy of science,
  • fifteenth century,
  • 1400s,
  • German cardinal,
  • mystic,
  • humanist,
  • humanism
Publication Date
Spring March 15, 2006
The Catholic University of America Press
Citation Information
Peter J. Casarella. Cusanus: The Legacy of Learned Ignorance. Washington, DC(2006)
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