religion

Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

On August 6, 1638, French priest and rationalist philosopher Nicolas Malebranche was born. Malebranche sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of Vision in God, Occasionalism and Ontologism. Nicolas Malebranche joined the Collège de la Marche at the age of 16 to study philosophy and later studied…
The Battle of Lützen

The Battle of Lützen

On November 16, 1632, the Battle of Lützen, one of the most important battles of the Thirty Years’ War, was fought, in which the Swedes defeated the Imperial Army under Wallenstein, but cost the life of one of the most important leaders of the Protestant alliance, the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, which caused the Protestant campaign to lose direction. The Thirty Years’ War was a series of wars in…
Ockham’s Razor

Ockham’s Razor

Probably on April 10, 1347, English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian William of Ockham passed away. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the fourteenth century. He is commonly known for Occam’s razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, and also produced significant works on logic, physics, and…
Guillaume Postel – French Linguist and Religious Universalist

Guillaume Postel – French Linguist and Religious Universalist

On March 25, 1510, French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist Guillaume Postel was born. “Ibn Sina says more in one or two pages than does Galen in five or six large volumes” Guillaume Postel Postel was adept at Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac and other Semitic languages, as well as the Classical languages of Ancient Greek and Latin and studied at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris. Besides he…
Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

On December 1, 1709, Abraham a Sancta Clara, Austrian divine, court preacher and author passed away. Born as Johann Ulrich Megerle, he has been described “a very eccentric but popular Augustinian monk” and had earned great reputation for pulpit eloquence, the force and homeliness of his language, the grotesqueness of his humor, and the impartial severity with which he lashed the follies of all classes of society and of the court…
The Council of Constance puts an end to the Three-Pope-Controversy

The Council of Constance puts an end to the Three-Pope-Controversy

On April 22, 1418, the Council of Constance ended, which should put an end to the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V. The Council also condemned as a heretic and facilitated the execution by the civil authority of Czech priest, philosopher, and early Christian reformer Jan Hus. The main purpose of the Council of Constance was to end…
The Visions of Emanuel Swedenborg

The Visions of Emanuel Swedenborg

On March 29, 1772, Swedish scientist, philosopher, theologian, and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg passed away. He is best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). From Swedenborg’s inventive and mechanical genius came his method of finding terrestrial longitude by the Moon, new methods of constructing docks and even tentative suggestions for the submarine and the airplane. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In…
The very first Printed Book

The very first Printed Book

The frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra from Tang Dynasty China, the world’s earliest dated printed book, AD 868 (British Museum) On May 11, 868, the earliest dated printed book was issued, a Chinese copy of the so-called Diamond Sutra, one of the most important textbooks of Buddhism, originally written in the 1st c. AD. You might think the it was Johannes Gutenberg who invented modern printing. But, he didn’t. Sure, printing with metal…
How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

The Cantino planisphere of 1502 shows the line of the Treaty of Tordesillas. On May 4, 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull ‘Inter caetera‘ (Among other [works]), which granted to Spain all lands to the “west and south” of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde islands. In the late 15th century, Spain and Portugal had…
Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

Catherine and Henry‘s marriage On April 13, 1519, Italian noblewoman and Queen of France Catherine de’ Medici was born. Catherine played a key role in the reign of her sons, and is blamed for the excessive persecutions of the Hugenots in particular for the St. Bartholomew‘s Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France. Catherine de’ Medici was born into a very…
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