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Event – Comenius’ Pansophy, Amsterdam NOV 2016

Posted on by BPH

Symposium – Comenius’ Pansophy

If you are in the Netherlands you are very welcome to join us at our next event: a  symposium (in Dutch) on Comenius. Orphaned at a young age, the highly gifted Comenius was sent to the University of Herborn by the Bohemian Brethren, where he was introduced to the concept of ‘Pansophia’ or universal wisdom. Around the age of 21 he went on to study at Heidelberg, where he came across the Fama Fraternitatis (the Call of the Brotherhood of the Rosycross), a text which had a profound influence on his later work, as did the second Rosicrucian Manifesto, the Confessio Fraternitatis (the Confession of the Brotherhood of the Rosycross). Around 15 years later, Comenius’ life was devoted to developing the high ideals of the Rosicrucians and other kindred spirits into a method which everyone might practise, irrespective of his or her individual background, and which would lead step by step to God, the source of Light itself.

His book Via Lucis was published in Latin two years before his death, at the time when Rembrandt painted his portrait.  Comenius wrote in such a clear and translucent way that the reader of Via Lucis might almost miss the depth, eloquence and especially the sagacity of his vision.  In his own words, Via Lucis ‘describes all visible and invisible things both in our own time and in the time to come according to a single and uniform method, described as the links in a chain, in an undeniable and unbroken sequence and in such a way that nobody who reads this work attentively will be unable to understand or appreciate it’. In the ninth chapter of the books, Comenius provided a description based on the well-known engraving in Robert Fludd’s Philosophica Mosaica. Read the description and an elaborate blogpost about Comenius written by the Founder’s wife, Rachel Ritman, here.

At this coming symposium on 21 November, our director and librarian, Esther Ritman, will talk about the pansophic text Via Lucis, written by Comenius. Even if you can’t join this event, you can order the Dutch Via Lucis in our web shop and read more about Comenius on Rachel Ritman’s blogpost.


Wanneer? 21 november 2016.
Waar? In de Kerkzaal, (16e etage van het Hoofdgebouw) van de Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam. Het gebouw is bereikbaar met de tram (lijn 5 en 51) en via NS-station Amsterdam-Zuid (10 minuten lopen). Parkeermogelijkheden zijn schaars.
Aanmelden? De toegang is vrij maar in verband met de catering wordt belangstellenden verzocht zich aan te melden, vóór 14 november 2016 bij uitgeverij Damon via e-mail: of telefoon: 0495 – 499 319.

14.30 uur Opening door de symposiumvoorzitter drs. Hans van der Linde, directeur van het Comenius Museum in Naarden
14.35 uur Comenius’ pleidooi voor een verenigd christendom Prof. dr. Mirjam P.A. de Baar, hoogleraar Cultuurgeschiedenis van het christendom in de vroegmoderne tijd, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Leiden
~ Discussie ~
15.00 uur Comenius: de werkelijkheid ligt binnen het bereik van het menselijk denken Mevrouw Esther Ritman, directeur van de Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica/Ritman Library, Amsterdam.
~ Discussie ~
15.25 uur Ethiek en systeem Prof. dr. Martin V.B.P.M. van Hees, hoogleraar ethiek, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, afdeling Filosofie, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
~ Discussie ~
15.50 uur Aanbieding van het boek
Korte toespraak van prof. dr. Henk E.S. Woldring en aanbieding van het boek aan de sprekers.
16.00 uur Receptie (in de gang van de 15e etage)

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