||An Introduction to Baroque Europe: Political, Intellectual, Religious, Scientific and Medical Scenarios
||05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course
||International Institute for Baroque Studies
||The Political Scenario
This study-unit takes a comparative approach to the phenomenon of change in seventeenth century Europe. It will endeavour to answer the question: To what extent, and in what ways, was crisis the major driving force behind the process of the structural transformation of European States in the course of the seventeenth century? An attempt will be made to arrive at a working definition of crisis. This will be followed by a general survey of the social, economic, and political structures and the religious institutions and beliefs in early seventeenth century Europe. Within this general framework, the following themes will be addressed: The genesis of the general crisis thesis; a discussion of the views of the two proponents of the thesis; Eric Hobsbawm (for the social and economic crisis) and Hugh Trevor Roper (for the political crisis); subsequent interpretations, which elaborated or modified the original thesis; critics of the thesis; how the different European States reacted to the crisis; the outcome of the crisis; the end of the seventeenth century. The study-unit ends with a seminar on the applicability of the crisis thesis to Malta, then ruled by the Hospitaller Knights of St. John the Baptist.
The Religious Scenario
This study-unit offers students the opportunity to study in detail one of the most significant movements in Baroque Europe - the revitalization of Roman Catholicism, especially in the period following the opening of the Council of Trent (1545). It is subdivided into three major themes, covering respectively (1) the period from the late fifteenth century to the appearance on the scene of Martin Luther, during which reform efforts within the Catholic Church either failed or were unavoidably delayed; (2) the siege mentality behind the Catholic Church's reactionary movement to counter the Protestant 'contagion', employing, in the process, repressive methods such as the Inquisition, the Index of prohibited books, etc.; and (3) the confident implementation of the massive programme of Tridentine reform, particularly in relation to the conduct of the clergy, ecclesiastical discipline, religious education, and world wide missionary activity. At this stage, the Catholic reform movement was greatly stimulated by the reformation of the older religious orders and the established of new ones (such as the Jesuits). As it is impossible to cover all the countries of the Catholic world in equal detail, the study-unit will focus on particular problems, looking at specific countries for examples to illustrate particular points. The study-unit ends with a seminar on the Catholic Reformation in the cultural and political history of Baroque Europe.
The Intellectual Scenario
There is a general agreement that the great divide in the history of Western Philosophy occurred in synchrony with the beginning of the Baroque Age, but is it meaningful to contrast 'Classical' with 'Baroque' Philosophy?. The second expression unlike the first would probably have been regarded as strange until very recently; but now it is being increasingly recognised that style is just as important in philosophy as it is in literature for the characterization of the work of an author. In this study-unit, the styles of the great Baroque philosophers of the seventeenth century will be examined in relation to their message and in comparison with those of the great artists who were their contemporaries.
1. Applying the term 'Baroque' in Philosophy
2. Descartes; Dreaming Theorems
3. Hobbes: The Shiver of Fear
4. Leibniz: Ecumenical Folding
5. Spinoza: Mystical Geometry
6. Pascal: Playing with Fragments
7. From Dialogue through Autobiography to Aphorism
The Scientific Scenario
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, science underwent a radical upheaval. Greek science was first equalled and then superseded. Well established Aristotelian ideas were criticized and replaced by alternative scientific theories. Scientist-philosophers proposed a new method of doing science that led to a new understanding of physical phenomena. The main aim of this study-unit is to discuss the Scientific Revolution and to attempt to relate the paradigm shift in science to the contemporary Baroque movement.
1. Defining the Scientific Revolution
2. The Greek legacy in cosmology and the natural science-1
3. The Greek legacy in cosmology and the natural science-2
4. Science in the Renaissance
5. Corpernicus: Revolutionary science in an old guise.
6. Copernicus: The implications of Copernican theory and its influences
7. Tycho Brahe, Hohannes Kepler and the new Astronomy-1
8. Tycho Brahe, Hohannes Kepler and the new Astronomy-2
9. Galileo Galilei: Realism and the physical sciences
10. Galileo Galilei: Science and religion
11. Descartes, Bacon and the scientific method
12. Isaac Newton: The great synthesis and the beginning of the classical physics
13. Optics and the theory of colour
14. Science and technology of the seventeenth century
The Medical Scenario
Cities in the Baroque age were often subject to plagues and other forms of contagion which required medical intervention and the setting up of institutions offering shelter and medical help. In addition, the violent climate of the 'age of the soldier' required a range of medical services and facilities to treat wounded soldiers exposed to battlefield and siege conditions. This study-unit of fourteen one-hour lectures focuses on the medical scenarios deriving from the above situations, focusing on the excellent medical services offered by the Hispitaller Order of Malta in the Valletta hospital known as the Sacra Infermeria.
To promote an awareness and understanding of the political, religious, intellectual, scientific and medical scenarios in the Baroque age.
1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
have a good working knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, enabling him/her to pursue research work on any of the topics covered.
2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
acquire the necessary research skills for further study on the topics covered in the unit.
Main Text/s and any supplementary readings
To result from student research under the guidance of the lecturer/s concerned.
|METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
|Examination (3 Hours)
Francis Ciappara (Co-ord.)
Jean-Paul De Lucca
Charles Savona Ventura
Frank J. Ventura
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2012/3, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
23 May 2013