Le Courant Pascalien à l’Europe de l’Est

Depuis les hautes moyen ages il y a eu un courant intellectuel de l’ouest à l’est de l’Europe; pour un exemple un peu risible nous avons les dernières phrases du “Conclusion” de K. Rein, “Tartu as the Eastern Outpost of European Medicine in the 1st half of the 17th century”, Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum, Spring 2014, quote from p. 49:

The founding of the university did not introduce major changes in the field of medicine in Tartu. Academic medicine was not connected with the rest of the medical institutions, such as pharmacy or hospital. Most of the healing work was still done by local surgeons and barbers.

Regardless of all, the Swedish University of Tartu can be considered an important centre of early modern medical thought in Eastern Europe, as at that thyme [transcriber begs reader’s pardon] the university was the easternmost university in [Eastern] Europe.

Mais, c’est possible à trouver des instances de cet courant plus substantiels que tautologiques, par exemple le diffusion et développement du pensée pascalien.

Shortly after the end of World War II the pensées of Simone Weil were published

One of the significant literary genres in French letters continues [in the 20th century, as previously] to be the journal or pensées, meditations jotted down as the writer pursues literary or spiritual adventure

under the title of La Pesanteur et la grâce. The book, a collection of loosely connected meditations on the relation of Man to God, attracted attention both within and beyond France. Its author, a young French-Jewish-Christian mystic, had died in England after fleeing the secret police of the invading Germans.

In these notes bare of metaphor and evocative symbolism Simone Weil documents the drama of her thought, disent les organisateurs du collection de 1960 Voix de siècle

Celui qu’il faut aimer est absent

Dieu ne peut être présent dans la création que sous la forme de l’absence.

Il faut placer Dieu à une distance infinie pour le concevoir innocent du mal;

réciproquement le mal indique qu’il faut placer Dieu à une distance infinie.

Ce monde en tant que tout à fait vide de Dieu est Dieu lui-même.

La nécessité en tant qu’absolument autre que le bien est le bien lui-même.

Assez, assurément, mesdames et messieurs lecteurs, à démontrer un tradition pascalien au vingtième siècle.

Au perspective de M. Eduard Winter, de l’université de Berlin, dans son Bahnbrecherische travail de 1962, Der Josefinismus: die Geschichte des österreichischen Reformkatholizmus [Berlin Rütten & Loening], il existait déjà au dix-huitième siècle un réseau international dedié au cause de la transmission de l’esprit et les lettres des pensées pascaliens. Stefan Rautenstrauch, par exemple, était un des plus pleins de zèle des réformateurs ecclésiastiques de Joséphisme. Le spécialiste anglais T.C.W. Blanning donne un instance [p. 29]

“The ruler can dispose of everything in the state, without exception . . . . Privileges which are disadvantageous to the state are always invalid.”

How was it then that Rautenstrauch

se demandait M. Winter

came to his enlightened conceptions of state religion? As early as the [seventeen] forties the Benedictine monk Ziegelbauer in the Brevnov cloister had worked out a personal view of the production of a critical history of the [Christian] Church.

The measurably enlightened historical-critical spirit so well nurtured by Ziegelbauer had found Rautenstrauch even before he had entered the cloister.

As so often, however, a modest beginning no longer satisfied the highly motivated youth; he wanted more. The teachings of the Freemasons, together with the offensive campaign on behalf of a state church within a Jansenist framework, well nourished by Ziegelbauer, was complemented by the assimilation of the ever more powerful Protestant Enlightenment radiating south across the Saxon border.

The explicator of texts to the younger generation of clerics [Wortführer der jungen Kleriker] was Rautenstrauch, without any support from the older generation.

Sharp conflicts had developed between generations towards the resolution of which the attention of the abbot had been drawn all too often. Theses which were propounded and defended within the boarding school by the elders struck the younger clerics as completely contrary to recent intellectual developments [Erkenntnissen der Zeit], and they rejected them utterly.

Such conflicts had been endemic since the [seventeen-] fifties. The abbot hoped to channel the oppositional energies of the younger generation, as whose spokesman [Wortführer] Rautenstrauch served, into the service of the cloister with the appointment of the highly-gifted Father Stefan to the position of professor to the boarding school. Without doubt Rautenstrauch proved himself the greater of the two.

He went his own way decidedly and deliberately, as his works on ecclesiastical law published from 1769 onward show vividly. In the meantime he became personally acquainted with [Karl Heinrich Ritter von] Seibt[1735-1806].

Cet Ritter a reçu description sur la site wikipedia, mais seulement l’allemand

Er lehrte erstmals nicht auf latein sondern deutsch und belebte den Wissenschafts- und Kulturbetrieb in Prag. So schreibt sein Zeitgenosse Franz Martin Pelzel: „Es vergingen kaum ein paar Jahre, so waren die vortrefflichen Schriften der deutschen schönen Geister in Jedermanns Händen“.[1] Er übte starken Einfluss auf die nachfolgende Generation von Wissenschaftlern in Böhmen, darunter zum Beispiel Josef Dobrovský, aus.

C’est-à-dire von Seibt — les auteurs aux nations officiellement communistes ne sont pas particuliers avec leurs usage du particle noble, “von” — donnait des lectures en allemand, espécialement concernant les sciences, pour la première fois en Prague. Son contemporain Franz Martin Pelzel

Alors, continuons avec la citation de Monsieur Winter

Like so many others Rautenstrauch also fell thoroughly under the influence of this remarkable man and became his devoted disciple. Although Seibt [peut-être variation de ‘Seibold’ — MM] was several months younger than Rautenstrauch, the latter looked upon him as to a teacher, ever grateful for the stimulation Seibt provided him.

The correspondence between the two provides clear testimony of Seibt’s intellectual leadership [geistige Überlegenheit]. Even as Rautenstrauch in subsequent years

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Par contraste [au vingtième], le XIXe siécle selon [Georges Gusdorf, Du Néant à Dieu dans le savoir romantique (Paris: Payot, 1983)] apparait comme le grand siècle religieux de notre histoire. Le Romantisme fut un puissant mouvement de renaissance spirituelle, renouveau de ferveur après la traversée du désert de l’intellectualisme des Lumières.

“L’impossibilité de dire Dieu peut être le point de départ d’une nouveau connaissance. Le Romantisme, théologie négative, atteste que la pensée du néant n’est pas un néant de pensée.

“L’affirmation romantique de Dieu suscite une compréhension de l’homme en ses profondeurs retrouvées, ainsi qu’une nouvelle présence au monde en ces horizons transmutables. Mort de Dieu, mort de l’homme, les slogans du nihilisme contemporain se situent aux antipodes de la pensée négative propre au Romantisme, qui a remis en honneur le sens de l’infini.”

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Dan Handelman, Education, Empire, Fascism, Global, Local government, Mathematics, Pacific Green Party, Spiritual life, Uncategorized, Vali Balint, War. Bookmark the permalink.

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