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Enlightenment, Catholicism, and a Central European "Jeu d’échelles". Maximilian Hell and Jesuit Science in an Age of Accommodation

Dates:
  • Wed 06 Dec 2017 15.30 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-12-06 15:30 2017-12-06 17:00 Europe/Paris Enlightenment, Catholicism, and a Central European "Jeu d’échelles". Maximilian Hell and Jesuit Science in an Age of Accommodation

This talk presents a book project (by Per Pippin Aspaas, University of Tromsø and László Kontler, Central European University) that seeks to offer an interpretation of the relationship of Enlightenment, Catholicism, state building, and the practice and pursuit of scientific knowledge in the eighteenth-century Habsburg monarchy and its wider European contexts through the prism of the career of the imperial and royal astronomer Maximilian Hell (1720-1792). Hell (originally Höll, scion of a family of German mining experts in north Hungary) was one of the foremost Jesuit scholars from eighteenth-century Central Europe. It was largely thanks to him that Vienna became an important node of scientific exchanges in the republic of letters, and Hell participated in major transnational enterprises of eighteenth-century field science, such as the Venus Transit observations of 1769. At the same time, his career coincided with a period of intense administrative and academic reform, as well as bottom-up processes of Enlightenment in Austria, culminating among others in the suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773). The successes and failures of Hell’s strenuous efforts to maintain and advance himself and the cause of Jesuit science by moving among, even simultaneously existing, in ‘life worlds’ that can be described as local, regional, imperial and global, and especially exploiting and transferring the capital of recognition and connections accumulated between them, throw a uniquely interesting light on the dynamics of power and knowledge, continuity and change, metropolis and provinces in Central Europe in the era of enlightened reform.

Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa. DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

This talk presents a book project (by Per Pippin Aspaas, University of Tromsø and László Kontler, Central European University) that seeks to offer an interpretation of the relationship of Enlightenment, Catholicism, state building, and the practice and pursuit of scientific knowledge in the eighteenth-century Habsburg monarchy and its wider European contexts through the prism of the career of the imperial and royal astronomer Maximilian Hell (1720-1792). Hell (originally Höll, scion of a family of German mining experts in north Hungary) was one of the foremost Jesuit scholars from eighteenth-century Central Europe. It was largely thanks to him that Vienna became an important node of scientific exchanges in the republic of letters, and Hell participated in major transnational enterprises of eighteenth-century field science, such as the Venus Transit observations of 1769. At the same time, his career coincided with a period of intense administrative and academic reform, as well as bottom-up processes of Enlightenment in Austria, culminating among others in the suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773). The successes and failures of Hell’s strenuous efforts to maintain and advance himself and the cause of Jesuit science by moving among, even simultaneously existing, in ‘life worlds’ that can be described as local, regional, imperial and global, and especially exploiting and transferring the capital of recognition and connections accumulated between them, throw a uniquely interesting light on the dynamics of power and knowledge, continuity and change, metropolis and provinces in Central Europe in the era of enlightened reform.


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Speaker:
László Kontler (Fernand Braudel Fellow)

Organiser:
Prof. Luca Molà (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
Corinna Ruth Unger

Contact:
Monica Palao Calvo - Send a mail
 
 

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