Renaissance and Reformation

Across no fewer than five "seasons," Peter covers the thought of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This takes in the period usually referred to as the Renaissance while also looking at the great upheavals in European intellectual life caused by the Reformation. The coverage is divided geographically, moving from Renaissance Italy (which continues seamlessly from the story of Byzantine philosophy, as Greek scholars come to Italy and help to kickstart the humanist movement) to central Europe. There, we look at the emergence of the northern Renaissance with humanists like Erasmus and, of course, reformers including Luther and Calvin. The persistence of scholastic philosophy, well past the medieval age with which it is most strongly associated, is also emphasized. From there, we take a tour of France and Britain, following the same basic pattern of covering the rivalry between humanism and scholasticism, alongside the challenge of the Reformation. Finally, we return to southern Europe for a look at the so-called "counter-Reformation": especially important here is scholastic thought in Spain and Portugal.

Prevalent philosophical themes in these series include the free will debate, skepticism, religious and political tolerance, the increasing influence of Hellenistic philosophy in ethics, theories of soul and intellect, and the dialogue between science and philosophy. Literature is also covered as a reflection of philosophical ideas, with attention paid to such figures as Rabelais, Shakespeare, and Cervantes. The role of women is emphasized, with coverage of (among others) Christine de Pizan, women Italian humanists, Marguerite de Navarre, Marie de Gournay, Margery Kempe, and Teresa of Avila.

As always, the podcast offers a mix of scripted episodes and occasional interviews with leading scholars of philosophy in this period.

Further Reading

• D. Bagchi and D.C. Steinmetz (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (Cambridge: 2004).

• P.R. Blum, Philosophers of the Renaissance (Washington DC: 2010).

• E. Cameron, The European Reformation (Oxford: 1991).

• P. Collinson, The Reformation (London: 2003).

• B. Copenhaver and C.B. Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy (Oxford: 1992)

• C.M.N. Eire, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 (New Haven: 2016).

• A. Grafton, Defenders of the Text: The Tradition of Scholarship in an Age of Science, 1450-1800 (Cambridge MA: 1991).

• É. Gilson, Humanisme et Renaissance (Paris: 1983).

• P.F. Grendler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, 6 vols (New York: 1999).

• J. Haskins (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge: 2007).

• H. Hillerbrand (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, 4 vols (Oxford: 1996).

• J. Kraye (ed.), Cambridge Translations of Renaissance Philosophical Texts, 2 vols (Cambridge: 1997).

• H. Lagerlund (ed.), Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy (London: 2017).

• C. Lindberg, The European Reformations (Oxford: 1996).

• D. MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York: 2004).

• P. Marshall, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: 2009).

• A.E. McGrath, Reformation Thought: An Introduction (Oxford: 1988).

• C.G. Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: 2006).

• H. Oberman, The Reformation: Roots and Ramifications (London: 2004).

• J.H. Overfeld, Protestantism: the Birth of a Revolution (New York: 1992).

• S.E. Ozment, The Age of Reform 1250-1550 (New Haven: 1973).

• R. Po-chia Hsia (ed.), A Companion to the Reformation World (Malden: 2004).

• R. Po-chia Hsia (ed.), (ed.), Cambridge History of Christianity, vol.6: Reform and Expansion 1500-1660 (Cambridge: 2007).

• R. Porter and M. Teich (eds), The Renaissance in National Context (Cambridge: 1992).

B. M. Reardon, Religious Thought in the Reformation (London: 1995).

• G. Remer, Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration (University Park: 1996).

U. Rublack, Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations (New York: 2017).

• E. Rummel, The Humanist-Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance and Reformation (Cambridge: 1998).

Q. Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Volume 2: The Age of Reformation (Cambridge: 1978).

• L.W. Spitz, The Protestant Reformation 1517-1559 (New York: 1986).

• J.D. Tracy, Europe’s Reformations 1450-1650 (Oxford: 1999).

• C.B. Schmitt and Q. Skinner (eds), Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge: 1988).