Special Issue "The Premodern Mind: Scientific and Religious Thought from the Middle Ages to the Reformation"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 5207

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Scott E. Hendrix
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, Political Science and Religious Studies, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI 53186, USA
Interests: medieval thought; hagiography, Albertus Magnus; astrology; history of science
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Religions, entitled “The Premodern Mind: Scientific and Religious Thought from the Middle Ages to the Reformation,” seeks to examine the intellectual history of the middle ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. I encourage submissions that deal with scientific, religious, or esoteric ideas and systems of thought. Submissions that consider the interplay of religious, scientific, and/or esoteric thought are particularly welcome. Furthermore, whereas scholars often examine these periods from a Eurocentric focus, I invite submissions that consider intellectual history from a wider, more global focus. Papers that consider the intellectual history of areas traditionally considered non-Western are welcome. Scholars who consider intellectual history through the lens of contact between and influence upon differing traditions are urged to submit papers.

Dr. Scott E. Hendrix
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • medieval
  • renaissance
  • reformation
  • intellectual history
  • history of ideas
  • hagiography
  • history of science
  • magic
  • astrology
  • witchcraft

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
John Amos Comenius: Inciting the Millennium through Educational Reform
Religions 2021, 12(11), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111012 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Comenius is considered by many scholars to be the father of modern education, a title that he has thoroughly earned. His ideas about universal education for all children foreshadowed modern pedagogical developments, and he dedicated more than forty years of his life to [...] Read more.
Comenius is considered by many scholars to be the father of modern education, a title that he has thoroughly earned. His ideas about universal education for all children foreshadowed modern pedagogical developments, and he dedicated more than forty years of his life to reforming education and society. The question guiding this research was: Why was Comenius so dedicated to reform efforts, and why were his ideas about education so peculiar for his time? Through a review of existing scholarship and Comenius’ own writing, namely the Labyrinth, Didactic, and the Orbis Pictus, it became clear that Comenius was inspired by the millenarian ideology prevalent during the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries in Europe as well as the effects that the turbulence of the seventeenth century had on his own life. These factors also led Comenius to believe that educational reform was the key to unlocking Pansophy, which would incite the Millennium, the golden age of peace and prosperity that would precede the second coming of Christ and the final judgement of God. Full article
Article
Albert the Great, the Albert Legend, and the Legitimation of the Dominicans
Religions 2021, 12(11), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12110992 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
By the time of his death in 1280 Albert the Great was respected not only as a theologian and philosopher, but also as one of the greatest authorities on astrology in the West. Such expertise rarely gains plaudits today, but in late medieval [...] Read more.
By the time of his death in 1280 Albert the Great was respected not only as a theologian and philosopher, but also as one of the greatest authorities on astrology in the West. Such expertise rarely gains plaudits today, but in late medieval Europe knowledge of esoteric pursuits was held in high regard. This is why Dominicans not only did nothing to challenge the growth of the “Albert Legend,” that Albert had mastered all magical and esoteric topics, but also promoted this myth. By promoting this legend, they bolstered and legitimized the reputation of the Order of Preachers. Full article
Article
The Massacres of the Jews under Richard I (A.D. 1189–1190)
Religions 2021, 12(10), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100821 - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 616
Abstract
This article is a consideration of medieval religious violence during the time of Richard I set within the historiography of such writers as Nirenberg, Cohen, and Moore. This paper specifically examines a series of anti-Jewish massacres which broke out in England in the [...] Read more.
This article is a consideration of medieval religious violence during the time of Richard I set within the historiography of such writers as Nirenberg, Cohen, and Moore. This paper specifically examines a series of anti-Jewish massacres which broke out in England in the immediate aftermath of the coronation of the Crusader King Richard I. While modern violence against minorities is often attributed to the irrational actions of persons with extreme prejudice or ideologies, we find something a bit more nuanced in the situation in 12th century England. Certainly, there were long-standing prejudices against the Jews in England. However, this paper will argue that while general European antisemitism did create an undercurrent of tension across Europe and especially in this case England; similar to Nirenberg’s thoughts these passions were manipulated by those involved to the point that they became incendiary to suit specific local purposes and passions. Full article
Article
The Biblical Image of the Providential Ruler in the Protestant Propaganda on the Eve of the French Wars of Religion
Religions 2021, 12(8), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080596 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
French Protestantism has remained famous in the history of political thought mostly for its theories regarding popular sovereignty and the right of the people to resist and replace a tyrannical ruler. However, before the civil wars pushed them on this revolutionary path, French [...] Read more.
French Protestantism has remained famous in the history of political thought mostly for its theories regarding popular sovereignty and the right of the people to resist and replace a tyrannical ruler. However, before the civil wars pushed them on this revolutionary path, French Protestants stressed the duty of obedience even in the face of manifest tyranny. The reasons for this were ideological, due to the significance placed on St. Paul’s assertion that all political power was divinely ordained, but also pragmatic, as Calvin and his followers were acutely aware of the danger of antagonizing the secular authorities. More importantly, they were fervently hoping for the conversion of France to the Reformation and, in their mind, the surest way such a process could take place was through the conversion of the king and the royal family. Therefore, Protestant propaganda of that time constantly urged the most important French royals to convert to the Reformation, and, for this purpose, they deployed a language full of references to the pious Biblical rulers who led their people towards the true faith—whom the addressees of these propaganda texts were advised to emulate, lest they incur God’s wrath. This paper aims to analyze the occurrences and the role of these references in the Protestants’ dialogue with the French monarchy. Full article
Article
Understanding Research Methodology: Social History and the Reformation Period in Europe
Religions 2021, 12(6), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060370 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
This article provides an overview of the social-historical methodology, highlights relevant scholarship on this approach, and offers specific examples of studies on the Reformation period in Europe that use the social-historical method. I begin by explaining how the social-historical methodology, otherwise known as [...] Read more.
This article provides an overview of the social-historical methodology, highlights relevant scholarship on this approach, and offers specific examples of studies on the Reformation period in Europe that use the social-historical method. I begin by explaining how the social-historical methodology, otherwise known as new social history, originated from the historical method. While highlighting key scholarship on this approach, I outline how the social-historical method differs from the historical method. I also present two essential methodological features of social history, including using sources in new, more analytical ways. I conclude by presenting specific examples of how historians of the early modern period, such as Kirsi Stjerna and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, apply the social-historical method in their own studies. This last section focuses on works that explore women’s history, family life, work, and witchcraft, primarily during the Reformation period in Europe. My goal is to provide a resource for emerging young scholars, such as undergraduate students and newly admitted graduate students, who are interested in strengthening their own work by better understanding the social-historical research method and how it is used in the study of history and religion. Full article
Article
Sacred Covenant and Huguenot Ideology of Resistance: The Biblical Image of the Contractual Monarchy in Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos
Religions 2020, 11(11), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110589 - 06 Nov 2020
Viewed by 714
Abstract
The Bible had been a fundamental source of legitimacy for the French monarchy, with biblical imagery wielded as a powerful propaganda weapon in the ideological warfare which the kings of France often had to wage. All Christian monarchies tried to build around themselves [...] Read more.
The Bible had been a fundamental source of legitimacy for the French monarchy, with biblical imagery wielded as a powerful propaganda weapon in the ideological warfare which the kings of France often had to wage. All Christian monarchies tried to build around themselves a sacral aura, but the French kings had soon set themselves apart: they were the “most Christian”, anointed with holy oil brought from heaven, endowed with the power of healing, and the eldest sons of the Church. Biblical text was called upon to support this image of the monarchy, as the kings of France were depicted as following in the footsteps of the virtuous kings of the Old Testament and possessing the necessary biblical virtues. However, the Bible could prove a double-edged sword which could be turned against the monarchy, as the ideological battles unleashed by the Reformation were to prove. In search for a justification for their resistance against the French Crown, in particular after 1572, the Huguenots polemicists looked to the Bible in order to find examples of limited monarchies and overthrown tyrants. In putting forward the template of a proto-constitutional monarchy, one of the notions advanced by the Huguenots was the Biblical covenant between God, kings and the people, which imposed limits and obligations on the kings. This paper aims to examine the occurrence of this image in Vindiciae, contra tyrannos (1579), one of the most important Huguenot political works advocating resistance against tyrannical kings, and the role it played in the construction of the Huguenot theory of resistance. Full article
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