Facets of “Participation” in the Renaissance and the Early Modern Period, 19-21 April 2018

Platonism afisInvited speakers: Igor Agostini (Università del Salento), James Bryson  (University of Cambridge), Mark Burden (University of Bristol), Douglas Hedley (University of Cambridge), Torrance Kirby (McGill University), David Leech (University of Bristol), Marilyn A. Lewis (University of Bristol), Adrian Mihai (University of Cambridge).

Organized by: Bogdan – Antoniu Deznan, Irina Georgescu, Remus Manoila

The concept of participation is one of the most important and enduring strains within European religious and philosophical thinking. Discernable for the first time in the works of Plato, it was later taken up and further developed by the Neo-Platonists and through their influence became a staple of late antique and medieval thought. While it retained its prominence in the Renaissance and the Early Modern period, starting with the eighteenth century the theme of participation gradually lost its philosophical currency. The purpose of the workshop is to examine the various articulations of participation in some of the theological and philosophical writings of the period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in the English milieu. It is primarily concerned with highlighting the peculiar features of this theme under its Renaissance and Early Modern guises in connection with epistemological and metaphysical issues. Special attention is also paid to the extent of the Cambridge Platonists’ engagement with this topic and the manner in which figures such as Henry More and Ralph Cudworth appropriated it in their philosophical and theological writings.

This event is envisioned as a three day workshop and will consist of academic papers delivered by invited scholars as well as reading groups organized for the last two days. The masterclass is open to any researchers, from M.A. students to doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, up to established scholars.

 For any further information, please write to: iocarioculian@yahoo.com.



Day 1

09:15–09:30    Welcome address

09:30–10:30    Iovan Drehe (Bucharest), Participation in Plato: A Dialectical Account

10:30–10:45    Coffee break

10:45–11:45    Torrance Kirby (McGill), Meanwhile, at the “other place”: Richard Hooker’s Two Platonisms and the Metaphysics of Divine Participation

11:45–12:00    Coffee break

12:00–13:00    Marilyn Lewis (Bristol), „Think on these Things”: Benjamin Whichcote and Henry Hallywell on Philippians 4:8 as a Guide to Deiformity

13:00–14:00    Lunch break

14:00–16:00    ICUB Lunchtime seminar, Chair: Mihnea Dobre

Douglas Hedley (Cambridge), Devout Contemplation and Sublime Fancy: the Cambridge Platonists and their Philosophical Legacy

16:00–16:30    Coffee break

16:30–17:30    Mark Burden (Bristol), Cudworth Revised: The Composition and Re-composition of the „Freewill Manuscripts” (British Library Add. MSS 4978-4982)


Day 2

10:00–11:00    David Leech (Bristol), Love and Free Will in Henry More 

11:00–11:30    Coffee break

11:30–13:30    Reading group: Richard Hooker,  Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, Book 1 – Torrance Kirby

13:30–14:30    Lunch break

14:30–15:30    James Bryson (Cambridge), Love as Participation in Henry More’s Enchiridion Ethicum

15:30–16:00    Coffee break

16:00–18:00    Reading Group: Henry Hallywell, The Excellency of Moral Vertue – Marilyn Lewis


Day 3

9:00–10:00      Igor Agostini (Salento), The Last Development of Henry More’s Doctrine of Spiritual Extension: from the Enchiridium Metaphysicum to the Scholia

10:00–10:30    Coffee break

10:30–12:30    Reading group: The John Norris-Henry More Correspondence – James Bryson, Douglas Hedley, David Leech

12:30–13:30    Lunch break

13:30–14:30    Adrian Mihai (Cambridge), „The Chief Heads of Arguments to Disprove a Deity”. Ralph Cudworth’s Atheistic Objections

14:30–14:45    Coffee break

14:45–15:45    Douglas Hedley (Cambridge), The Secret of Nature and the World Soul: from the Cambridge Platonists to Romanticism

15:45–16:00    Coffee break

16:00–18:00    Reading group: Ralph Cudworth. Epistemological Considerations on the Maxim: „Ex nihilo nihil fit”– Adrian Mihai