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Grant number: RQ-249908-16

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University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
David Albertson (Project Director: December 2015 to present)
K. Meredith Ziebart (Co Project Director: February 2016 to present)

The Tegernsee Debate on Love and Reason: Mystical Letters and Treatises in Late Medieval Germany

Preparation of a one-volume facing-page English translation of fifteenth-century polemical theological and political documents written in Latin at Tegernsee Monastery, Germany.

In the 1450s a network of erudite German monks fought over the priority of love and intellect during mystical prayer. Their letters chronicle a local controversy at the Tegernsee monastery with momentous political consequences. Fifteenth-century reformers viewed emotional piety (love) as an antidote to scholasticim, but church authorities feared that denigrating reason (intellect) could frustrate dialogue with Islam. Although the religious and political quandaries of the Tegernsee Debate persist even today, the episode remains little known. The forty-two Latin documents are scattered across unedited manuscripts and uncorrected editions; only two have been translated. Our project gathers them into a single Latin/English volume in an outstanding series, and disseminates manuscript images through an open website. The project will inform studies of comparative spirituality, the politics of religious reform, medieval philosophy, Reformation studies, and interreligious dialogue.

Project fields:
Classical Languages; History of Religion; Medieval Studies

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$230,000 (approved)
$230,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 9/30/2019