viernes, 17 de octubre de 2014

Carlos Cañete talk (Nov. 10th, 4:30), his bio and talk abstract.

The philosopher Richard H. Popkin once wrote that pre-Adamite theory, the
idea that there were men before Adam, was ‘the real spectre haunting Western
thought’. For him, the real turning point was established by the work of the French
theologian Isaac La Peyrère (Praeadamitae, 1655). According to Popkin, that
idea posed a tremendous shock to European consciousness. Although Popkin’s
work has been central in reclaiming the relevance of pre-Adamite theory for the
emergence of modern thought, it is my view that there are still many questions
that remain unanswered. This is the case for the very process which enabled pre-
Adamite theory to even be thinkable. We have to consider that this theory was
but a part of a greater theological system proposed by La Peyrère that combined
ideas about human origins, millenarianism, ethnic identity and epistemological
theories. I will argue that the only way to determine the ‘real spectre’ haunting
pre-Adamite theory will be to explore the mechanisms by which cultural and
religious interaction in early modern times led to this idea. My ultimate goal is
to demonstrate the transcultural nature of this process and hence of one of the
main roots of modernity.

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