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HUMSS - Julie Casteigt

Dr. Julie Casteigt
University Toulouse II-Jean Jaurès, France

Place, Totality, Reciprocal Interiority: elements for a Medieval Archeology
When Dec 02, 2019
from 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / Open to university members
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Place, Totality, Reciprocal Interiority: elements for a Medieval Archeology


My research project deals with cultural transfer in the Middle Ages between Greek-Arabic philosophy on the one hand, and Christian theology and exegesis on the other hand, on the topic of reciprocal interiority. More precisely, I study how Albert the Great used Proclos’ Elements of Theology that he received through the Liber de causis to interpret the verses of the Gospel of John that assert that the Father is in the Son and, reciprocally and simultaneously, the Son in the Father. My point is to highlight the audacious and free experiment of thought that he made by interpreting the Holy Scriptures with the conceptual tools that Neoplatonism offered him. Far from conducting a “colonisation” of the Greek-Arabic philosophical inheritance by the Christian dogma. According to Étienne Gilson, the medieval masters would have aimed to constitute a “Christian philosophy”. Albert the Great, for his part, implements new ways to conceive of the reciprocal interiority of the divine persons in his commentary on the Gospel of John and in his theological tractates, the possibility for two bodies to be simultaneously and reciprocally the one in the other in his commentary of Aristotle’s Physics, and the possibility for the whole to be simultaneously and reciprocally in its parts in his commentary of Boethius’ De divisione. Through the concept of reciprocal interiority, medieval philosophy offers a model of constructive confrontation at the highest scientific and cultural level: a cultural transfer that enables Albert the Great to conceive of the concepts of circumincessio, place and totality in a new way.

In the interdisciplinary context of the HUMMS colloquium, I shall direct the presentation of my project towards a methodological questioning of the modalities of interdisciplinary transfers and attempt to give a contribution to our common reflection on “The role of the Humanities in the 2020s and beyond”.