Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica nova, Gruninger, 1508. MPIWG Library.

Project (2012-2017)

Northern-European Institutions of Science, Scholarly Networks of Knowledge Transfer in the Early Modern Period

This project investigates the interactions between cosmology and Protestant Scholasticism from the mid-sixteenth century to the late seventeenth century, with a particular focus on institutions and knowledge transfer within a network of universities and gymnasia in a northern European area, initially centered in Middle Europe (Wittenberg, Leipzig, Rostock, Frankfurt on Oder, Helmstedt, Rostock, Szczecin), then ranging from England and Scotland (e.g., Aberdeen) to the Netherlands (Utrecht, Leiden, Groningen), Denmark (Copenhagen), Sweden (Uppsala) and Poland (Gdańsk), including Eastern Prussia (Königsberg).

Reisch Margarita

Gregor Reisch. Margarita philosophica nova, Gruninger, 1508. MPIWG Library.

The investigations focused on the mechanisms of assimilation, transformation, and establishment of novel cosmological and natural doctrines (namely, Copernican planetary models, geo-heliocentricism, and “Cartesio-Copernicanism”) in well-established academic curricula and cultural traditions. It turned out that such mechanisms were marked by specific practices of teaching and of knowledge dissemination (notably lectio, commentary, disputatio, quaestio, and exercitatio), by customary forms of professors’ recruitment, and by disciplinary separations linked to faculty hierarchies (for example, the subordination of the professors at the faculty of philosophy to those of medicine or theology), as well as by the constant reference to a codified corpus of canonical texts (and textbooks) prescribed in the Statutes.