University of Erfurt

Projekt von Dr. Alessandro Nannini

The force of Holy Scripture as “aesthetic force”? The genesis of a category in Lutheran theology between mid-17th and mid-18th century

The project intends to investigate the notion of force of Holy Scripture in a crucial period of the Lutheran dogmatic reflection, in order to elucidate its intersections with the emerging discipline of aesthetics. While the relationships between theology and aesthetics in the German Enlightenment have received sustained attention in the last years, the link between scriptural force and the science of sensible cognition, as Alexander G. Baumgarten defined it, has not been examined yet. The goal of my research is first of all to study the semantic spectrum of the concept of scriptural force, from both a stylistic and a soteriological point of view, in some of the most relevant seventeenth-century dogmatic works, starting from Johann Gerhard’s Loci theologici. On these bases, I will then turn my attention to the theorization of a natural dimension of the scriptural force, which contributed to the reinterpretation of its stylistic force as an aesthetic force or a vis aesthetica in the course of the early German Enlightenment. My hypothesis is that during the age of rationalism aesthetics came to play a crucial role in accounting not only for this literary aspect, but also for the possibility of a soteriological force, thus acquiring a seminal apologetic meaning.

Kurzbiographie

I earned my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Palermo (2015). As a post-doc, I deal with the intellectual history of the German Enlightenment, with special regard to the origin of aesthetics as a scientific discipline and its connections with different domains of knowledge (religion, psychology, natural sciences, etc.). I am a member of the research group “Philosophie allemande au 18ème siècle”, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and affiliated with scientific societies both in Italy and abroad.

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