Giordano Bruno: Will, Power, and Being - Law, Philosophy, and Theology in the Early Modern Era
From Wittenberg to Rome, and Beyond - Bruno Festival, 3rd edition

April 26, 2018 - April 27, 2018

Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR)
59 Rue Néricault Destouches
37000 Tours


‘That a profound sensitivity towards spirituality penetrates all Giordano Bruno’s philosophy—as Eugenio Garin puts it in his L’umanesimo italiano—in no way can be denied […]. A religious inspiration goes through and inflames all his writings, although it later leads him even to the blasphemy against the Christian religion.’ As the statement suggests, religion actually reveals to be indispensable for an adequate understanding of Giordano Bruno’s thought and hence for a correct appreciation of attitudes like, on the one hand, his defence of an infinite universe in cosmology or, on the other hand, his anthropological positions and the importance he gave to philosophy by considering it as an ethical and historical mission. Starting from a re-evaluation of Christianity after Luther’s Reform, the event aims to discuss Giordano Bruno’s contribution to the history of modern ideas by focusing in particular on theological, moral, and legalpolitical aspects of his philosophy, and by comparing his views to other significant sixteenth-century writers, who include: his fellow countrymen Alberico Gentili and Tommaso Campanella, the masters of the School of Salamanca, François Hotman, Michel de Montaigne, François Bauduin, Celio Secondo Curione, and Jean Bodin. In continuity with the first 2 editions of the event and the meetings that preceded it, special attention will be paid to Bruno’s last philosophical teaching: his Wittenberg period and the role of the city in the second half of the sixteenth century, the ‘Frankfurt trilogy’, the treatises on magic, and the trial documentation.


  • Dr Massimiliano Traversino Di Cristo
    FROM Birkbeck College School of Law University of London - UK
    IN RESIDENCE AT Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) / CNRS, University of Tours - FR
  • Dr Paul-Alexis Mellet,
    Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) / CNRS, University of Tours - FR


Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) :
59, Rue Néricault Destouches - 37000 TOURS - FR

The conference venue is unique. Located right next to the basilica of St Martin in the old city centre of Tours, the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance) is a teaching and research institution which welcomes students and researchers seeking initial or supplementary instruction in all aspects of the Renaissance. The Centre was initially constituted in 1956 on the basis of a library and a documentary archive, supplemented by a collection of photographs and databases. It is now a venue for multi-disciplinary instruction, which, in association with the various Faculties of the University, has responsibility for teaching and research in History, History of Art, Literature, Languages, Musicology, and Philosophy. It currently leads a large research programme dedicated to the cultural regional heritage (Intelligence des Patrimoines). As a research centre it brings together fifty or so researchers committed to the investigation of the "civilization of the Renaissance" from Petrarch to Descartes. Participants will be welcomed in this exceptional surrounding blending Middle Age and Renaissance cultures and will have the opportunity to discover French cuisine and wines.


Including two lunches and coffee breaks

Public institutions75 EUR
Students & PhD Scholars50 EUR
Social Dinner (Thursday 26th)55 EUR


Festival Bruniano, 3rd Edition Tours & Wittenberg

Download the poster of the Wittenberg colloquium

Download the leaflet of the Wittenberg colloquium

Confirmed keynote speakers


Thursday April 26th 2018

Morning Session : Law, Theology, and Politics in Bruno's Philosophy and His Time

Chair: Dr Paul-Alexis Mellet
  • 08:30    Welcome coffee & registration
  • 09:00    Official opening : Sophie Gabillet (Le Studium) & Philippe Vendrix (President of the University of Tours) 
  • 09:15    Dr Massimiliano Traversino Di Cristo - The Role of Theology in Alberico Gentili: His Moderate Lutheranism as a Historical-Genealogical Feature of His Account of the Concepts of Prince and Sovereignty
  • 10:00    Dr Elisabeth Blum - Irenic Policy – Gasparo Contarini’s Dialogue with the Protestants
  • Discussion
  • 10:45    Coffee Break
  • 11:00    Pr Maria Stefania Montecalvo - Celio Secondo Curione: Re-Discovery of Classicism, Religious Reform, and Political Change
  • Discussion
  • 11:45    Pr Alberto Bondolfi - Quel rôle pour la théologie dans le De potestate civili de Francisco de Vitoria ?
  • 12:30    Lunch - La Table du Grand Marché

Afternoon Session : Magic, Science, and Philosophical Discourse on Soul and Immortality

Chair: Dr Massimiliano Traversino Di Cristo
  • 15:15    Pr Hilary Gatti - Giordano Bruno’s Ash Wednesday Supper as a Prelude to Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Major World Systems
  • Discussion
  • 16:00    Pr Ignacio Gómez de Liaño Alamillo - Bruno's Magic: Science and Power
  • Discussion
  • 16:45    Coffee Break
  • 17:00    Dr Angelika Bönker-Vallon - Adam and Eve in Early Modern Anthropology: Giordano Bruno’s Position on Preadamitic Life and His Defense of the Concept of Anima mundi
  • Discussion
  • 17:45    Dr Paul Richard Blum - Polemics on Soul and Immortality: The Background of Bruno's Cabala
  • Discussion
  • 20:00    Social Dinner - L'Atelier Lebeau

Friday April 27 th 2018

Morning Session : Religious Warfare, European State-Building, and Literary Polemics

Chair: Dr Elisabeth Blum
  • 08:45    Welcome coffee
  • 09:00    Dr Elisabetta Tarantino - History and Religion in Candelaio
  • Discussion
  • 09:45    Pr Raffaele Ruggiero - François Bauduin and the Model of Roman Jurisprudence in the Early Modern State Building during the European Religious Warfare
  • Discussion
  • 10:30    Coffee break
  • 10:45    Dr Boudewijn Sirks - Common right and reason' against Parliament and King
  • Discussion
  • 11:30    Dr Paul-Alexis Mellet - De quoi la Saint-Barthélemy est-elle le nom ?
  • Discussion
  • 12:15    Closing Remarks
  • 12:30    Lunch - La Table du Grand Marché

Partners of the event