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Making Mathematical CultureUniversity and Print in the Circle of Lefèvre d'Étaples$
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Richard Oosterhoff

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198823520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198823520.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

A Mathematical Turn

A Mathematical Turn

(p.25) 2 A Mathematical Turn
Making Mathematical Culture

Richard Oosterhoff

Oxford University Press

Lefèvre described his own mathematical turn as a kind of conversion. This chapter explains what motivated his turn to mathematics, considering the place of mathematics in fifteenth-century Paris in relation to court politics and Lefèvre’s own connections to Italian humanists. But more importantly, Lefèvre’s attitude to learning and the propaedeutic value of mathematics drew on the context of late medieval spiritual reform, with its emphasis on conversion and care of the soul. In particular, Lefèvre’s turn to university reform seems to have responded to the works of Ramon Lull, alongside the devotio moderna and Nicholas of Cusa, which he printed in important collections. With such influences, Lefèvre chose the university as the site for intellectual reform.

Keywords:   Reformation, conversion, French court, George of Trebizond, Marsilio Ficino, Jean Gerson, Nicholas of Cusa

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