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Nicholas of Cusa Reading Group

Nicholas of Cusa: On Learned Ignorance
Recent interest in Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) indicates that he is a key figure whose thought offers fresh resources to rethink modernity. In this new reading group, we will read and discuss some of Cusa’s most important works.
In Lent term, we will continue our reading of what is arguably Cusa's best known work, ‘On Learned Ignorance’. Here, Cusa trades on Socrates’s claim that he was wiser than other men because he “knew that he did not know.” In De Docta Ignorantia, Cusa applies this theme to God, holding that because all human conceptualizing occurs at the finite level, our concepts cannot truly grasp the infinite God. We will also read Cusa's own apology of De Docta Ignorantia which he wrote in the face of criticisms, and finish the term by reading On the Vision of God.
Lent Term 2019
Thursday | 8pm | Peterhouse (F5)
17th January : On Learned Ignorance, book III, chapters 1-5
31st January On Learned Ignorance, book III, chapters 6-12
28th February : Apologia Doctae Ignorantiae
14th March : On the Vision of God /De Visione Dei
Jasper Hopkins’ translation of all of Cusa's works can be accessed online. The Cusanus Portal provides the Latin sources alongside a translation here (click on "Opera").
Dr Silvianne Aspray ( & Ryan Haecker (


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