The Catholic Reformation

In this final series covering the 15-16th centuries, we turn our attention to philosophy shaped by the Catholic response to the Reformation, often called the "Counter-Reformation." We'll mostly find ourselves in Spain and Portugal, considering developments within scholastic philosophy from authors like Suárez, Molina, and the Coimbran commentators. Topics here will include the theory of natural law, the concept of "middle knowledge," and innovations in metaphysics. We'll also have a broader look at Thomism across Europe, touching on figures like Cajetan. Other topics connected to the Iberian peninsula will include the Inquisition, the Valladoid debate over colonialism, Spanish humanism and mysticism, and literature and art, with episodes on Cervantes and Velázquez. We'll finish off the whole era by returning to Italy and considering Galileo again, as a transition to the 17th century. This series will feature interviews with guests including Andrés Messmer, Tom Pink, Eileen Reeves, Anna Tropia, and Scott Williams.

Further Reading

• R. Bireley, The Refashioning of Catholicism 1450-1700 (Basingstoke: 1999).

• J. Cowans, Early Modern Spain: a Documentary History (Philadelphia: 2003).

• J. Delumeau, Catholicism between Luther and Voltaire: A New View of the Counter- Reformation, trans. J. Moiser (London: 1977).

• L.A. Homza, Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance (Baltimore: 2000).

• H. Kallendorf (ed.), A Companion to the Spanish Renaissance (Leiden: 2019).

• T.F. Mayer (ed.), Reforming Reformation (London: 2012).

• M. Mullet, The Catholic Reformation (London: 1999).

• R. Po-chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540–1770 (Cambridge: 1998).

• J. Tellkamp (ed.), Companion to Early Modern Spanish Imperial Political and Social Thought (Leiden: 2020).

• A.D. Wright, The Counter-Reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-Christian World (London: 2017).

438. Don't Give Up Pope: Catholic Reformation

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How the Counter-Reformation or Catholic Reformation created a context for philosophy among Catholics, especially in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

439. Cancel Culture: The Inquisition

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How religious persecution and censorship shaped the context of philosophy in Catholic Europe in the sixteenth century.

440. Longitudinal Studies: Exploration and Science

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Iberian expeditions to the Americas inspire scientists, and Matteo Ricci’s religious mission to Asia becomes an encounter between European and Chinese philosophy.

441. Lambs to the Slaughter: Debating the New World

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Bartholomé De las Casas argues against opponents, like Sepúlveda, who believed that Europeans had a legal and moral right to rule over and exploit the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

442. Scott Williams on Disability and the New World

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In this interview we learn about the main issues in modern-day philosophy of disability, and the relevance of this topic for the European encounter with the Americas.

443. Marketplace of Letters: Iberian Humanism

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Fray Luis de Leon, Antonio Nebrija, Beatriz Galindo and other scholars bring the Renaissance to Spain.

444. The Dark Night Rises: Spanish Mysticism

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Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross push the boundaries of individual spirituality and offer philosophically informed accounts of mystical experience.

445. Band of Brothers: the Jesuits

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Ignatius of Loyola’s movement begins modestly, but winds up having a global impact on education and philosophy. We also discuss casuistry and the Jesuit concept of "mental reservation."

446. Not Doubting Thomas: the Aquinas Revival

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Cajetan, Bañez and other thinkers make Aquinas a central figure of Counter-Reformation thought; we focus on their theories about analogy and the soul.

447. Andrés Messmer on Spanish Protestantism

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Yes, there were Spanish Protestants! Andrew (Andrés) Messmer joins us to explain how they drew on humanism and philosophy to argue for their religious agenda.

448. Secondary Schools: Iberian Scholasticism

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The “School of Salamanca,” founded by Francisco Vitoria, and the commentators of Coimbra are at the center of a movement sometimes called the “Second Scholastic.”

449. Anna Tropia on Jesuit Philosophy

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We learn from Anna Tropia how Jesuit philosophy of mind broke new ground in the scholastic tradition.

450. Depicting What Cannot Be Depicted: Philosophy and Two Renaissance Artworks

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To celebrate reaching 450 episodes, Peter looks at the philosophical resonance of two famous artworks from the turn of the 16th century: Dürer’s Self-Portrait and Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel.