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Progress through eclecticism? The redefinition of metaphysics at the Berlin Academy in the second half of the eighteenth century

Project Title:  Progress through eclecticism? The redefinition of metaphysics at the Berlin Academy in the second half of the eighteenth century

Project Code: 

Principal Investigator: Dr. Tinca Prunea



Isomorphism of Knowledge: Scientific Projections on 20th and 21st Century Literature

10-11 May 2019

International Conference organized by the Department of Romance Linguistics, Ibero-Romanian Languages and Literatures, Italian, Classical Philology and Modern Greek; Center of Comparative Linguistics and Cognitivism; and the Humanities division of the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (IRH-ICUB).

Invited Speakers: Christine Baron (University of Poitiers), Amelia Gamoneda (University of Salamanca), Francisco González Fernández (University of Oviedo), Pilar Alonso (University of Salamanca).


The aesthetic and discursive strand of contemporary thought has set out the transversal unification between epistemological domains (Baron, 2007), blurring the lines between science and literature. The conceptual mappings that suggest an active role of literary forms and structures in the articulation of the scientific thought, and the underlying scientific and technological references building the fictional worlds constitute an intertwined field of meaning intended to give an account of the empirical universe as part of a new humanism, called by some the third culture (Fernández Buey, 2013).

The main purpose of this congress is to approach the study of XXth and XXIst century literature from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to understand the necessity of a definite rapprochement between exact sciences and humanities. It is primarily concerned with highlighting structural analogies between scientific and literary discourse, as well as narrative patterns and metaphorical mechanisms in scientific texts. Special attention is paid to the fundamental role of literary theory as the science of literature in defending its cognitive abilities.

We invite papers coming from epistemocriticism, cognitive poetics, embodied reading theory, neuroaethetics and philosophy of the arts.

This event is also envisioned as a two-day meeting between scholars for the preparation of a monographic volume to be submitted to a major international publishing press.


Conference languages: English, French, Spanish

For further information, please contact:

Conference Web:


Call for Papers: 




Internship 2018-2019

Secțiunea de Științe Umaniste a Institutului de Cercetare a Universității din București anunță deschiderea a două posturi de interni (stagiari), în regim de voluntariat. Acești voluntari interni se vor ocupa de organizarea și promovarea evenimentelor ICUB (conferințe, școli de vară, seminarii de cercetare), vor face muncă de secretariat și de comunicare cu publicul.

Perioada de voluntariat este de 3 – 6 luni, cu posibilitate de prelungire. Pentru a deveni intern al ICUB, voluntarii trebuie să îndeplinească următoarele condiții:

– sa fie masteranzi sau absolvenți de master, sau doctoranzi într-una din specializările reprezentate în Institut (secțiunea de științe umaniste)

– să aibă un interes susținut pentru activitatea de cercetare

– să cunoască foarte bine cel puțin o limbă de circulație internațională

– să fie dinamici, activi și dornici de a lucra în echipă

Pe perioada de voluntariat, internul voluntar va fi integrat în echipa ICUB, lucrând atât cu coordonatorul secțiunii, managerii de proiecte și administratorul de secțiune cât și cu bursierii străini și profesorii invitați. La încheierea perioadei de voluntariat va primi o adeverință din partea Universității din București și eventuale recomandări pentru aplicații ulterioare.

Pentru a aplica, cei interesați trebuie să trimită un CV și o scrisoare de intenție, în limba engleză, la, până la data de 21 septembrie 2018.

Mathematizing Physics or Physicalizing Mixed Mathematics?, 1–2 October 2018

Invited speaker: John Schuster (University of Sydney)

The workshop is organized under the framework of the national research grant (code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0228), “The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy.”

The history of the emergence of modern science is still very much about how natural philosophy became mathematical. But the classical narrative about the “mathematization of nature” (at least in the Koyré version) has become somewhat obsolete, with its claims about a replacement of the Aristotelian view with the Platonic one, which recognized a mathematical structure of reality.

Besides “physico-mathematics”, however, there was another form of “blending” mathematics with physics, sometimes called by its practitioners “mathematical physics”, which has remained very much understudied until today. It emerged out of an experimental context and can be contrasted with the “physico-mathematical” approach: while the latter starts with usually strong metaphysical presuppositions, mixing axioms of mathematics with axioms or principles of natural philosophy, “mathematical physics” is a much more bottom-up procedure, in which mathematical objects are constructed trough measurement and quantification. It shows that Thomas Kuhn’s division between the mathematical and experimental traditions is too rigid, since the two could, in fact, nurture each other. John Schuster has proposed an important view, according to which it is more appropriate to speak about a “physicalization” of the mixed mathematical sciences instead of a mathematization of physics.

More details here.

Ramus and the Reform of Learning, 27 September 2018

Invited speakers: Scott Mandelbrote (University of Cambridge), Dominique Couzinet (Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne)

The workshop is organized under the framework of the national research grant (code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0228), “The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy.”

In this workshop we aim to explore topics related to Petrus Ramus’ way of seeing the sciences in the light of his sources, his personal views on the arts and sciences, and their influence. More specifically, we will discuss about his sources (e.g. Proclus), his way of seeing the relation between what he considered “theoretical” mathematics (i.e. arithmetic & geometry) and “physical” mathematics (e.g. physics, optics, architecture, geography etc.), his views on technology, and his influence in the 16th-century Cambridge, in order to consider the possible direct or indirect link to the projects of figures such as Francis Bacon.

More details here.

The Mental Imagery of Eastern Christianity and Islam According to Western Travel Descriptions during the Second Half of the 16th Century

Project title: The Mental Imagery of Eastern Christianity and Islam According to Western Travel Descriptions during the Second Half of the 16th Century

Project code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0628

Contract: 25/2017

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie

ABSTRACT: Religious otherness is of key importance for the understanding of the relationships between different cultures and mentalities. Our research will address and analyze the way in which the images of Eastern Christianity and Islam are constructed in the diaries and travel descriptions of Western Christian peregrines to the Ottoman Empire, especially Constantinople, during the second half of the 16th century. The travelogues we intend to analyze belong to clerics or diplomats pertaining to various European Christian cultures and denominations (Roman-Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, Anglicans) and document the history of mentalities, religious otherness and the construction of cultural patterns.

The Western mental images of the Eastern Christians and Islam seem to be marked by prejudice, clichés and stereotypes. The novelty of this investigation lies in our attempt to go beyond the structural approach to otherness, which is focused on social-cultural elements, and instead dwell on religion and the investigation of the other’s beliefs, as identity markers. Thus, this timely investigation will offer a substantially new contribution to the ongoing dialogue on religious identity and social integration. The research methodology will employ concepts put forth by F. Hartog (rhéthorique de l’altérité), R. Koselleck (asymetrische Gegenbegriffe) or P. Burschel (duale Grundmuster), which will be critically examined. Based on Tzvetan Todorov’s typology of the relationships with the other we will carry out our research along three lines: praxeologically (closeness or distancing from a foreigner, delimitation or adaptation), axiologically (value judgments such as good / bad, attractive / unattractive) and epistemologically (knowledge / lack of knowledge, acquaintance / lack of acquaintance). The research will be interdisciplinary, starting from the investigation methods of the history of mentalities and of cultural relationships, historical anthropology, and ecclesiastical history.


Principal Investigator:


Dr. Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie is Lecturer of Byzantine History and Church History at the University of Bucharest. He holds a PhD in Theology and another one in History, both granted by the University of Bucharest. During the recent academic years he was selected as a post-doc fellow by Institut für Byzanzforschung (Vienna) / Romanian Academy (2011-2012), Woodrow Wilson Center / Romanian Cultural Institute (2012), Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (2014), New Europe College (2014-2015), and Central European University (2016-2018). His publication list includes: L’Apport des Assomptionnistes français aux études byzantines: une approche critique. Actes du colloque de Bucarest, 25-27 septembre 2014, édités sous la direction de Marie-Hélène Blanchet et Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie, coll. Archives de l’Orient Chrétien 21, Paris: Institut français d’études byzantines, 2017; Autoritatea imperială în criză: Mihail VIII Paleologul (1258-1282) și raporturile Statului bizantin cu Biserica [Imperial Authority in Crisis: Michael VIII Palaiologos (1258-1282) and the Relations between the Byzantine State and the Church], Brăila: Editura Istros, 2016 [review in: Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik, 67 (2017), pp. 274-275 (Mihai-D. Grigore)]; Vasile-Adrian Carabă, Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie (eds.), Dinamica vieții intelectuale în Bizanțul Paleologilor (1261-1453) sub influența polemicii [The Dynamics of Intellectual Life in Palaiologan Byzantium (1261-1453) under the Sign of Polemics], București: Editura Universității din București, 2014.

Experienced Researchers:

daniel_proiect (1 of 1)Dr. Daniel Benga is professor for Liturgics, Patristics and Church History at the Institute for Orthodox Theology of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich. He wrote two PhD Theses on the issue of the relationships between the Lutheran Reformers and the Orthodox Church in the 16th century: The Great Reformers and the Orthodox Church. Contributions to the Typology of the Lutheran-Orthodox Relationships in the 16th Century (Bucharest, 2003); David Chytraeus (1530-1600) as Rediscoverer and Researcher of the Eastern Churches (Wettenberg, 2006). His publication list includes: David Chytraeus (1530-1600) als Erforscher und Wiederentdecker der Ostkirchen. Seine Beziehungen zu orthodoxen Theologen, seine Erforschungen der Ostkirchen und seine ostkirchlichen Kenntnisse, VVB Laufersweiler Verlag, Wettenberg, 2006; Marii reformatori şi Biserica Ortodoxă. Contribuţii la tipologia relaţiilor luterano-ortodoxe din secolul al XVI-lea, Editura Sophia, Bucureşti, 2003; Cred, mărturisesc și aștept viața veșnică. O istorie teologică a Simbolului Niceo-Constantinopolitan, Editura Basilica a Patriarhiei Române, București, 2013; „Die Diaspora der Orthodoxen Kirchen in Europa. Ein geschichtlicher Überblick”, în: Ostkirchliche Studien, Band 62 (2013), pp. 318-331; „Eine kurze Auswertung des Theologischen Dialogs aus der Sicht der Rumänischen Orthodoxen Kirche”, în: Martin Illert and Martin Schindehütte (Hrsg.), Theologischer Dialog mit der Rumänischen Orthodoxen Kirche. Die Apostolizität der Kirche. Heiligkeit und Heiligung, (Beihefte zur Ökumenischen Rundschau, Nr. 97), Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig, 2014, pp. 32-42; „Die Reformation Martin Luthers widerspiegelt in der orthodoxen Theologie”, Review of Ecumenical Studies, 9 (2017), pp. 346-359.

adrian_proiect (1 of 1)

Dr. Vasile-Adrian Carabă is Lecturer at the University of Bucharest (Romania), Faculty of Orthodox Theology. His main focus is the History and Spirituality of the Byzantine Empire. He received his PhD degree at the University Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, Department for Oriental Studies (The Christian Orient and Byzantium). The last research Project (Project Leader): Dinamica vieții intelectuale în Bizanțul Paleologilor (1261-1453) sub influența polemicii (The Dynamics of the Intellectual Life in Palaiologan Byzantium (1261-1453) under the Influence of Polemics). Publications: “Als „amicus Plato“ genauso wichtig wie die Wahrheit war. Die Beteiligung von Kardinal Bessarions Freunden an dessen Plato-Aristoteles-Streit gegen Georgios Trapezuntios”, în: Martin Tamcke (ed.), Partnerschaft, Freundschaft, Dialog. Beiträge zum internationalen Symposium am Lehrstuhl für Ökumenische Theologie und Orientalische Kirchen- und Missionsgeschichte der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen vom 20. bis 22. Juni 2015, Lit Verlag, 2016, pp. 93-102; Vasile Adrian Carabă & Ionuţ Alexandru Tudorie (coord.), Dinamica vieţii intelectuale în Bizanţul Paleologilor (1261-1453) sub influenţa polemicii, București: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti, 2014, pp. 27-212; “Ausdrucksformen der byzantinischen Symphonia am Beispiel des Hofzeremoniells”, în: Mihai D. Grigore, Radu Harald Dinu & Marc Zivojinovic (eds.), Herrschaft in Südosteuropa Kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Perspektiven, Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2011, pp. 135-154.

seby_proiect (1 of 1)

Dr. Sebastian-Laurențiu Nazâru holds a PhD in Theology and another one in History, both granted by the University of Bucharest. He is Assistant Professor of Church History at the University of Bucharest – Faculty of Orthodox Theology and editor (starting from 2008) of Studii Teologice (Theological Studies)the review of Romanian Faculties of Orthodox Theology. He was research assistant in two projects: Blessed are the Peacemakers. Christianity and Security from The Sermon on the Mount to September 11 Attacks and The Dynamics of Intellectual Life in the Palaiologian Byzantium (1261-1453) under the Influence of Polemics. Mr. Nazâru’s publications include: Mucenicia Brâncovenilor. O analiză a surselor istorice, București: Ed. Cuvântul Vieții, 2014; Martiriul Sfântului Antim Ivireanul. O nouă lectură a surselor istorice, București: Ed. Cuvântul Vieții, 2017; “Viața unui sfânt dincolo de vălul hagiografiei”, in Ignatie Diaconul, Viața Patriarhului Nichifor al Constantinopolului, București: Ed. Cuvântul Vieții, 2017, pp. 9-107. His research interests include: Christian-Muslim Relations, Byzantine anti-Islamic polemics, Byzantine iconoclasm, and the hagiography of the iconoclastic period.

ovidiu_proiect (1 of 1)Dr. Ovidiu Olar is Senior Researcher (CS III) at the “N. Iorga” Institute of History of the Romanian Academy (Bucharest) and Associate Researcher of the Chair  in History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Ruhr-Universität Bochum). He holds a PhD in history, awarded by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), in 2015; the thesis was entitled La boutique de Théophile. Les relations de Kyrillos Loukaris (1570/2-1638) avec la Réforme. Apart from Loukaris, the (in)famous Greek “Calvinist Patriarch” of Constantinople, Ovidiu is interested in the religious reforms and in the confessional “Cold War” of the 17th century, as well as in the history of political ideas. His publications include: “« The Father and His Eldest Son ». The Depiction of the 1667 Muscovite Palm Sunday Procession by the Metropolitan of Gaza Paisios Ligaridis and its Significance”, Revue de l’Histoire des Religions 235/1 (2018), pp. 5-36; “Corruption and Anticorruption in the Romanian Principalities: Rules of Governance, Exceptions, and Networks, Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century”, in Ronald Kroeze, André Vitória & Guy Geltner (ed.), Anticorruption in History. From Antiquity to the Modern Era, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 225-238 (text), 366-371 (notes); “Orthodoxy and Politics: The Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, the Prince Mihnea III Radu of Walachia and the Great Church of Constantinople”, in Ines G. Županov & Pierre Antoine Fabre (ed.), The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World, Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2018, pp. 233-263.

bogdan_proiect (1 of 1)Dr. Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban holds a PhD in Philosophy (History of Ancient and Medieval Thought) and a MAs in Orthodox Theology, both granted by the University of Bucharest. He is senior researcher at the Institute for the History of Religions (Romanian Academy). His main research interests cover comparative history of angelology, patristic and Byzantine intellectual history, the relations between monotheist religions. His recent publications include: Corpul îngerilor. Fragmente dintr-o istorie a ierarhiilor cerești (Humanitas, 2017) and „Les anges des nations dans le christianisme des premiers siècles. Continuité et métamorphoses” (première partie), in collaboration with Miruna Tătaru-Cazaban, in Archaeus. Etudes d’Histoire des Religions / Studies in the History of Religions, XIX-XX (2015-2016): Twenty Years of History of Religions in Bucarest, 1996-2016, ed. Eugen Ciurtin, București, 2016, pp. 49-85. He translated into Romanian Saint Augustine (Humanitas, 2004; Editura Institutului Biblic şi de Misiune Ortodoxă, 2010), Boethius (Polirom, 2003), Hugo of Saint-Victor (Univers Enciclopedic, 2005), E. Lévinas (Humanitas, 2006), Nicholas of Cusa (Humanitas, 2008), R. Klibansky, E. Panofsky and F. Saxl (Polirom, 2002).

Junior Researchers:

mihai_proiect (1 of 1)Drd. Mihai Faur is PhD student at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology (University of Bucharest), where he researches a thesis on the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969). He holds both a BA (2013) and an MA (2015) in Theology granted also by the Faculty of Orthodox Theology. Mr. Faur’s research interests are anchored in the field of historical theology, in general, and of the fields of history and spirituality of the Byzantine Empire and of the Eastern Christian Studies during the medieval and early modern times, in particular.

octavian_proiect (1 of 1)Drd. Octavian-Adrian Negoiță is PhD student at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology (University of Bucharest) where he researches a thesis on The Anti-Islamic Discourse as Reflected in the Early Modern Greek Apologetical and Polemical Literature against Islam (16th – 18th Centuries). Mr. Negoiță holds a BA in Orthodox Theology (2013) and another one in Classical Philology (2015), both granted by the University of Bucharest. He also holds two MAs; the first one in Medieval Studies (2015), granted by the University of Bucharest, and the second one in Comparative History (2017), granted by Central European University (Budapest). During his studies he attended several conferences in Oxford, Budapest, Birmingham and Ioannina. He was awarded research and travel grants by The Classical Association (London), University of Birmingham, Dumbarton Oaks (Washington DC), Oxford University, and Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEU, Budapest). Mr. Negoita conducted two research projects as principal investigator: The Anti-Islamic Discourse as Reflected in the Greek Apologetical and Polemical Treatises against Islam (XVIth-XVIIIth Centuries) and The Status of the Orthodox Greek Communities of the Ottoman Empire during the Age of Confessionalization (XVIth-XVIIth Centuries), both projects financed by UEFISCDI. His research interests include the fields of Christian-Muslim Relations, Byzantine/post-Byzantine-Ottoman Studies, Christian-Muslim-Jewish polemical literature, and Eastern Christian Studies during the medieval and early modern times in the Mediterranean.




December 11, 2017: Research Team meeting – Research Institute of the University of Bucharest / Humanities. The main target of this first daylong research team gathering was focused on a discussion regarding the targeted objectives of the research team (strategies regarding the participation to different international conferences, publications as separate articles and collective volume, etc.). This part was followed by updates provided by each member of the team related to their research interests and a Q&A session after every short presentation.

July 12 – August 14, 2017: Ionuț-Alexandru TUDORIE – Research Study Trip at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection [Harvard University]. During the time spent in Washington DC, the Principal Investigator explored several Western diaries mostly written by French travelers, having as main secondary literature two excellent monographies: Y. Bernard, L’Orient du XVIe siècle a travers les récits des voyageurs français. Regards portés sur la société musulmane, Paris 1988; F. Tinguely, L’Écriture du Levant à la Renaissance. Enquête sur les voyageurs français dans l’empire de Soliman le Magnifique, Genève 2000.

October 24 – November 22, 2017: Ionuț-Alexandru TUDORIE – Research Study Trip at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection [Harvard University]. Starting from the PhD thesis by Inge Peschel (Die Darstellung des Osmanischen Reiches in der deutschsprachigen Reiseliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts, Wien 1977), the Principal Investigator researched the German travelogues of the second half of 16th century (paying a special attention to Stephan Gerlach, Salomon Schweigger, and Hans Dernschwam).


April 4, 2018: Research Team meeting – Research Institute of the University of Bucharest / Humanities. The second daylong meeting of the research team was meant to provide the agora for a preliminary discussion of the findings by Vasile-Adrian Carabă (on Leonhard Rauwolf) and Octavian-Adrian Negoiță (on Ottoman ceremonies through the Western travelers’ eyes). The two reach presentations were followed by a lengthy session of Q&As that provided for the lecturers several new perspectives to correlate their findings with a broad picture of Western travelers to Constantinople in the second half of the 16th century.

June 13 – July 31, 2018: Ionuț-Alexandru TUDORIE – Research Study Trip at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection [Harvard University]. The Diary by English organ-builder Thomas Dallam about his trip to Istanbul in 1599-1600 to the court of Mehmet III, and by extension the information provided by the English travelers to Constantinople in the second half of the 16th century, was the main research objective of the Principal Investigator during his third study trip to Washington DC.

August 1 – 31, 2018: Ovidiu OLAR – Research Study Trip at the Ruhr-University in Bochum. The aim of the research trip was to collect data on the Jesuit missionary Giulio Mancinelli SJ and the Anglican scholar John Covel. The secondary literature on Mancinelli is scarse: Pietro Pirri, “Lo stato della Chiesa ortodossa di Costantinopoli e le sue tendenze verso Roma in una memoria del P. Giulio Mancinelli S.I.”, in Miscellanea Pietro Fumasoni-Biondi I, Rome 1947, pp. 79-103; Vincenzo Ruggieri, “Constantinopoli vista da P. Giulo Mancinelli S.J. (1583-1585)”, Revue des Etudes Byzantines 60 (2002), pp. 113-131; Andrei Pippidi, “Sous le regard d’Occident. La mission de Mancinelli à Constantinople et en Moldavie”, in Leonidas Rados (ed.), Interferenţe româno-elene (secolele XV-XX), Iaşi 2003, pp. 165-174; Pierre-Antoine Fabre, “La misión como visión del mundo. Las autobiografías imaginarias de Giulio Mancinelli (1537-1618)”, in Perla Chinchilla & Antonella Romano (eds.), Escrituras de la modernidad. Los jesuitas entre cultura retórica y cultura cientifica, Mexico 2009, pp. 177-203. On the contrary, a recent monograph by Lucy Pollard analyzes Covel’s approach to classical culture [The Quest for Classical Greece. Early Modern Travel to the Greek World (London 2015)]. Two presentations will benefit from this research trip (21 October 2018 – Bucharest – N. Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy: “Un misionar iezuit prin Valahia și Moldova – Giulio Mancinelli SJ (+1618)”; 2 November 2018 – Bucharest – The Annual Colloquium of the Romanian Society for Byzantine Studies: “Reverend Dr. John Covel’s Map of Constantinople (1675-1677)”).

September 5, 2018: Research Team meeting – Research Institute of the University of Bucharest / Humanities. The third daylong meeting provided the floor for three lectures: Bogdan Tătaru-Cazaban (on Guillaume Postel), Ovidiu-Victor Olar (on John Covel), and Daniel Benga (on German travelers to the Levant during the second half of the 16th century). The second part of the meeting was dedicated to a brainstorming session on the 2019 project conference (date; venue; list of guest speakers; the needed interconnection between the targeted topics in order to provide a comprehensive overview on the research main idea).

September 19 – 21, 2018: Octavian-Adrian NEGOIȚĂ – Conference presentation at Turkologentag, 2018: The 3rd Convention on Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies, University of Bamberg. The title of the presentation was: “Muslim Religious Practices in the Western Travel Descriptions of the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century”.