The Renaissance Christian humanist and theologian Nicholas of Cusa
(1401-64) called this self-centered arrogance "unlearned ignorance," the ignorance of those who trust in their human intelligence and who, through pride and presumptuousness, close themselves off to the path of divine wisdom.
The Religious Concordance: Nicholas of Cusa
and Christian-Muslim Dialogue
This intellectual tradition can be traced from Plato to Plotinus and Proclus, to Eriugena and Nicholas of Cusa
, to Luther and Giordano Bruno, who was burned as a dangerous heretic for his opposition to Aristotelian and Thomistic thought.
Populated worlds showed up more prominently in writings by the renegade thinkers Nicholas of Cusa
(1401-1464) and Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).
The strip of land I am here drifting to belongs, of course, to Nicholas of Cusa
, where ratio and intellectus have been meted their respective and different duties.
Holder quotes Bonhoeffer's prison letters to the effect that the concept of the autonomy of the world began with the speculations of Nicholas of Cusa
and Bruno about an infinite universe.
The specific thinkers he considers are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Nicholas of Cusa
, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Michel Montaigne, Rene Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Henri Poincare, the neopositivists, and Karl Raimund Popper.
shows how Augustine's pessimism about the salvation of people of other religions influenced much of the official teaching of the Catholic Church through the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, despite Thomas Aquinas's writings on "implicit faith" and despite the bold explorations of the salvation of people of other religions by Ramon Llull and Nicholas of Cusa
I "cultivate my ignorance" about spiritual matters, a lesson I learned from my favorite theologian, Nicholas of Cusa
, who said each of us should pursue our own unique form of spiritual ignorance, our own ways of shedding the need to know everything.
After seeking insight from the encounters with Islam of Nicholas of Cusa
and Martin Luther, Volf argues, in precise, step-by-step fashion, that Christian and Islamic descriptions of God and God's commands, while by no means identical, are sufficiently similar to allow the affirmation that Christians and Muslims (at least, those who represent their traditions well) do worship the same God.
During the past fifty years, Nicholas of Cusa
has emerged as one of the seminal figures of the late Middle Ages, notable not only for his profound and innovative writing on philosophy, theology, and science but also as a man in whom the principal themes of late medieval intellectual history converge.
Hudson, Nancy, Becoming God: The Doctrine of Theosis in Nicholas of Cusa
, The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.