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Sense and Sensibility. The Scholastic Origins of the Enlightenment Man of Feeling

The research team of the project “Between Secularization and Reform. Religious Rationalism in the Late 17th Century and in the Enlightenment” organises the fourteenth session of the seminar “Enlightenment and Religion”. The session, to be held on 18 June 2021 from 16:00 to 18:00 (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) CET on Microsoft Teams, will host Prof. Damien Tricoire (University of Trier) who will deliver a lecture titled Sense and Sensibility. The Scholastic Origins of the Enlightenment Man of Feeling. If you are willing to join the meeting, please sign up via the website of the project ( or by sending an expression of interest to the following address: More information about the project and the seminar is available on the website:

Eighteenth-century studies interpret the Enlightenment as a break with scholasticism, that is medieval university philosophy. In this paper, I propose a radically different view: my aim is to show that core concepts of Enlightenment philosophy, and thus central ideas in Enlightenment culture in general, were of scholastic origin. I will focus on Rousseau's moral philosophy, and, in several reception stages, trace back its core ideas to 13th-century scholasticism. This may help to understand better the theological dimension of Enlightenment thought and culture, often associated with secularisation.

Damien Tricoire is historian and lecturer of early modern history at the University of Trier. He has studied in Paris, Köln, Berlin, Munich and Warsaw. In the years 2011 to 2020 he was researcher at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Since  2020 he has worked as professor of the early modern history in Trier. His authored monographs include: Der koloniale Traum. Imperiales Wissen und die französisch-madagassischen Begegnungen im Zeitalter der Aufklärung (2018), La Vierge et le Roi. Politique princière et imaginaire catholique dans l’Europe du XVIIe siècle (2017), Falsche Freunde. War die Aufklärung wirklich die Geburtsstunde der Moderne? (with Andreas Pečar, 2015), Mit Gott rechnen: Katholische Reform und politisches Kalkül in Frankreich, Bayern und Polen-Litauen (2013).

Poster HERE.