Valentina ZaffinoPontifical Lateran University; University of Notre Dame
A webinar lecture with Valentina Zaffino (Pontifical Lateran University; Rome Global Gateway, University of Notre Dame). Part of our summer webinar series on "Reason and Beauty in Renaissance Christian Thought and Culture," presented in collaboration with the American Cusanus Society
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, and cosmologist. Bruno’s notoriety is due both to his adventurous life and to his original reinterpretation of ancient thought in light of the new philosophical scenario. Valentina Zaffino will analyze Bruno’s image of the cosmos, focusing on his remodeled Neoplatonic background. In this context, as will be shown, the notions of harmony and beauty are closely related with Bruno’s fascinating claim of the infinity of the cosmos.
What do reason and beauty have to do with each other? Since the modern Enlightenment and Romantic movements, it has been tempting to see reason and beauty as separate or even opposed. In the Renaissance, however, rational and artistic pursuits bloomed together and even fed each other. Renaissance culture, including fine art, poetry, architecture, astronomy, and humanistic thought, both drew upon and extended ancient and medieval Christian intellectual traditions. This webinar course will examine different aspects of renaissance Christian thought and culture to explore how pursuits of reason interwove with the love of beauty.
This event is cosponsored by the Beatrice Institute, Calvert House, the Genealogies of Modernity Project, the Harvard Catholic Center, the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought, and St. Paul's Catholic Center.
Valentina Zaffino is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, and also Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and primarily teaches in the areas of Renaissance Philosophy and Early Modern Philosophy. Her main field of research is the heritage of Ancient sources in Early Modern tradition, with focus on the links between Platonism and Aristotelianism (Nicholas of Cusa, Giordano Bruno, Cambridge Platonists). She has authored various books, chapters, and articles on these subjects, and has also published texts on the Italian Enlightenment.