Universal Reformation: Intellectual Networks in Early Modern Central Europe

PhD Advisor: Prof. Piotr Wilczek

The proposed research will concentrate on major intellectual movements in Early Modern Central Europe in the post-Reformation period, such as Comenianism, Ramism, Millenarianism, Socinianism and on intellectual networks associated with these movements. As doctoral student, you will be invited to explore topics such as: ecclesiastical irenicism, educational and philosophical reform, “further Reformation” (Lutheran and Calvinist), correspondence networks, transfer of knowledge due to displacement of scholars and of local intellectual and religious traditions. Of particular imortance is the work of Protestant exiles, such as Jan Amos Comenius. These topics branch out to embrace the general intellectual history of central Europe in the post-Reformation period offering you thus a wide range of research paths connecting Mediteranean Humanism with European identity.

If you choose this field of doctoral research you will complete your fellowships abroad at the following Partner Institution:

Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Aberdeen
The Centre for Early Modern Studies offers a truly stimulating intellectual and interdisciplinary environment through the variety and breadth of its research spectrum: from civic, historical and religious identities, interaction of the religious and political transformations of the era, Central European confessional and political conflict, international Calvinism, Scottish covenanters and their intellectual and political networks in Europe and the Atlantic world, to urban history, the history of the border and border societies (Polish-Prussian and Polish-Habsburg borderlands), the Baltic and the Northern Wars, the Polish-Lithuanian union, early modern history of medicine and science and many other topics including symbols and emblems, festivals, gardens, the applied arts; Baroque internationalism and the literary and visual arts of the Counter-reformation. The printed holdings of Aberdeen library’s special collection and archives contain around 150,000 items (over 8000 sixteenth-century continental imprints). The thematic strengths of both collections are clustered around theology, law and medicine, history of science and philosophy, history and church history. You will work under the supervision of Dr Karin Friedrich.

Modern European History Research Centre, University of Oxford
These two centres of the University of Oxford host and support a wide variety of interdisciplinary research programs and projects. Of particular relevance to this Fellowship is ‘Cultures of Knowledge: An Intellectual Geography of the Seventeenth-Century Republic of Letters’, a collaboration between the Humanities Division and the Bodleian Library which takes as one of its themes ‘Universal Reformation: Intellectual Networks in Central and Western Europe, 1560-1670’ (to which a conference is dedicated in September 2010). The Project is scheduled to produce a calendar and digital archive of the correspondence of the great Moravian intellectual reformer, Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670), in collaboration with the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, and a calendar of the correspondence in the papers of Comenius’s friend, Samuel Hartlib, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, and is also editing the correspondence of the intellectuals John Aubrey, Edward Lhwyd, Martin Lister, and John Wallis. It is predicated on the internationally renowned holdings of the Bodleian Library, and benefits from synergies with the Library’s Centre for the Study of the Book, the Museum of the History of Science, and the related research cluster in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. In addition, over 120 full-time Faculty across the University have interests in the early modern period, and each term offers dozens of seminars which will coincide closely with your research objectives. You will work under the supervision of the Cultures of Knowledge Project Director, Professor Howard Hotson. For more information, see:

Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Science
Several important research centres function within the Institute of Philosophy: the Department for the History of Older Czech and European Philosophy dealing with Bohemian Reformation (Hussite movement, Utraquism); the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Centre for Classical Studies specializing in Czech humanism and Baroque, and the Department of Comenius Studies focusing on Jan Amos Comenius. Two major libraries located in the Institute specialize in philosophy, including history of philosophy, and in classical studies; moreover two specialized collections are devoted to Medieval Studies and Comenius Studies. The Institute closely cooperates with Charles University and three historical Prague libraries: the National Library, Library of the National Museum and the Strahov Library. You will work under the supervision of Dr Vladimir Urbanek. For more information, see: