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Mathematical TheologiesNicholas of Cusa and the Legacy of Thierry of Chartres$
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David Albertson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199989737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989737.001.0001

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The Advent of Theologia geometrica in the 1450s

The Advent of Theologia geometrica in the 1450s

Chapter:
(p.222) 9 The Advent of Theologia geometrica in the 1450s
Source:
Mathematical Theologies
Author(s):

David Albertson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989737.003.0010

This chapter proposes that Cusanus’s breakthrough in the 1450 dialogue Idiota de mente (“The Layman: On Mind”) flowed from an editorial decision. In this work Cusanus decided to utilize Thierry’s original four modes of being instead of the critical recension found in Fundamentum naturae, as he had in 1440. This suggests that Idiota de mente, which elevated Cusanus’s Neopythagorean account of mathematical thinking to a new level of clarity and sophistication, represents a transformation triggered by his new access to Thierry’s theology. After 1450, Cusanus was able to develop a more stable, integrated model of mathematical theology, a distinctive version of Christian Neopythagoreanism that one contemporary reader described as “geometrical theology.” Cusanus explored its potential in his profound 1453 treatise De complementis theologicis (“On the Theological Complement”). After surveying this work, the chapter concludes by comparing its themes to those of De docta ignorantia.

Keywords:   four modes of being, Idiota de mente, De theologicis complementis, geometrical theology

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