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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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Completing the Circle in the 1460s

Completing the Circle in the 1460s

(p.253) 10 Completing the Circle in the 1460s
Mathematical Theologies

David Albertson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the culmination of Nicholas of Cusa’s mathematical theology in his last few years. His late thought took several new turns. Cusanus shifted from mathematics to the physics of embodied matter, and he renewed his earlier interest in Christology. These two themes are combined in an important work from 1463, De ludo globi (“On the Game of Spheres”). A storehouse of Neopythagoreanism and concepts borrowed from Thierry of Chartres, the dialogue also revives the mystical theology of Incarnation first aired in De docta ignorantia. The structure of the text is initially difficult to perceive, and some commentators have lamented its disorganization. The chapter proposes three distinct, overlapping agenda that structure the dialogue: Hermetic, editorial (again engaging the treatise Fundamentum naturae), and Christological. The last of these brings to fruition the project of mathematical theology that Nicholas of Cusa first set out in 1440.

Keywords:   Cusanus, Incarnation, De ludo globi, De docta ignorantia, Christology, Neopythagoreanism

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