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Call for Papers: Vocalising the Ineffable


Language and Creativity in Nicholas of Cusa

Conference for young scholars in Hildesheim, Germany, from Sep 27 to Sep 30, 2018

Thinking language with Nicholas of Cusa means being confronted with a tension: On the one hand, constantly addressing the limitations of language, he holds that more than just the absolute is ineffable. On the other hand, language is the mode of human articulation and communication—despite its limitations, humans need to employ language if they want to communicate with other humans. According to Cusanus, humans deal with this situation creatively: in their attempts of approaching the ineffable by means of language, they employ creativity. For Cusanus, language is thus an object of investigation, an epistemological instrument of approaching god, the world, and humans, an interface of human interaction accessible through the senses, in short: a multi-faceted core area of human activity and creativity. This has consequences for research on Cusanus. Questions concerning language in a narrower sense and epistemological questions in a broader sense, questions regarding the approximation to god, questions regarding the structure and composition of texts, questions targeting the function of metaphors and images—satisfying answers to all these questions are barely possible without considering Cusanus’ notion of language. More…