Gasparo Contarini: Venice, Rome, and Reform by Elisabeth G. Gleason

By Elisabeth G. Gleason

Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) used to be an incredible protagonist in the Counter-Reformation of the 16th century. a sophisticated Venetian patrician, he later grew to become an ascetic recommend of Church reform and, as a Catholic cardinal, was once despatched to the $64000 Colloquy of Regensburg. He failed in his venture to result in an contract among Lutherans and Catholics; however, his existence and concept, in addition to his friendships with the main vocal proponents of harmony, peace, and toleration, make him a powerful and critical historic determine. within the first biography of Contarini considering that 1885, Elisabeth Gleason vastly broadens our realizing of the fellow and his occasions. for this reason, students and scholars will come to work out Cardinal Gasparo Contarini as a reminder of substitute techniques of authority and liberty in either church and kingdom.

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7] This exchange between the noted philosopher,[8] certainly the most original mind with which Contarini came in contact during his years at Padua, and his former student belongs to the vehement debate about two topics of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, both discussed in the third book of Aristotle's De anima : the unity of the intellect and the immortality of the soul. A thinker was considered an Averroist, a Thomist, or an Alexandrist depending on the position he took as to whether the human intellect (intellectus possibilis ), common to all men, retained an identity after death or became united with a higher active intellect (intellectus agens ).

Citing from pseudoDionysius the Areopagite's On Divine Names to the effect that both approaches are necessary, Contarini proposes a third solution consisting in the union of the soul with divine goodness and truth in such manner that it loses itself and becomes that with which it is united. He echoes St. "[62] As in the Compendium , Contarini stresses that the deepest recognition of unutterable truth is in the silence that lies beyond the operations of human faculties. In other contexts he was to repeat that God is ultimately known in a wordless way, in the silence that transcends all human understanding.

53] Contarini's views of the physical world were not structurally altered by new infor― 87 ― mation, but he had great curiosity about details, which he worked into his writings as illustrations of general propositions? De elementis , in fact, shows that Contarini was as conservative in physics and geography as he had been in cosmology. "[56] Therefore he could admit no modification of its consummate order and perfect circular motion. One can only wonder how he would have reacted to the ideas of Copernicus, his fellow student at Padua, had he known of them.

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