Women Philosophers – Medieval and Renaissance Periods

Course at the first international Libori Summer School at the Center for the History of Women Philosophers, July 24-28, 2017.

At the Libori Summer School, the students were invited to read, investigate, and discuss the works, among others, of Heloise, Hildegard von Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Tullia d’Aragona, Catarina da Siena, Julian of Norwich, and the Arnauld women.

Prof. Dr. John Conley SJ. and Prof. Dr. Mary Ellen Waithe

The course “Women Philosophers: Medieval and Renaissance Periods” opened with an introduction and an overview of the sessions by Prof. Dr. Mary Ellen Waithe. Then, Julia Lerius gave a lecture on the natural and medical writings of Hildergard von Bingen. In the afternoon seminar, the discussion was focused on the interpretation of several passages from Hildegard von Bingen’s Causae et curae.
The second day was dedicated to the study of the Heloise d’ Argenteuil and Mechthild von Magdeburg. During the morning session, Prof. Dr. Waithe lectured on Heloise d’ Argenteuil. The lecture was accompanied by a discussion on several passages taken by the correspondence between Heloise and Abelard. In the evening session, Prof. Mary Ellen Waithe lectured on the life and the works of Mechthild von Magdeburg. A vivid discussion in regards with Mechthild von Magdeburg’s ideas took place.

The participants and lecturers of the course. (Photos by Jessica Harmening)

The third day, Prof. Dr. Waithe introduced us to the life and the philosophy of Julian of Norwich and Catherina of Siena. In the discussions that followed, passages from Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love and Catherine of Siena’s letters were analyzed.
In the fourth session, Evina Glantzi gave a lecture on the life and the works of Tullia d’ Aragona. During the afternoon, the discussion focused on key concepts such as love, and homosexuality, as they appear in Tullia d’ Aragona’s Dialogo della Infinita di Amore (Dialogue on the Infinity of Love).
On the last day, the morning session opened with a lecture by Prof. Dr. John Conley SJ. on the philosophy of Arnauld women. More specifically, the lecture focused on the life and the writings of Angelique Arnauld, Agnes Arnauld, and Angelique de Saint Jean Arnauld d’ Andilly. The ideas and the arguments of the above philosophers were discussed in the evening seminar while special emphasis was given on their writings in regards with virtue and resistance.
In general, the course offered a rich analysis of the life and the works of the above women philosophers while the lively discussions contributed to the revival of their ideas.
(Evina Glantzi)