Project

FWO Sabbatical Prof. Danny Praet

Duration
01 February 2021 → Ongoing
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Promotor
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • History of philosophy
    • History of religions, churches and theology
    • Study of Christianity
    • Study of Judaism
Keywords
Franz Cumont Bibliotheca Cumontiana ancient philosophy Ancient Religion history of ancient religions (incl. christianity)
 
Project description

I would like to do two things. Finish the project of the Bibliotheca Cumontiana, the editorial project of the

Academia Belgica in Rome which holds the archives of the Ghent historian of religion Franz Cumont (1868-1947).

I am one of the general editors of the Bibliotheca, responsible for seven volumes of so-called Scripta Minora.

These volumes include critical historiographical introductions which reflect upon the methodology of Cumont

and on the scientific developments since his publications. I am co-author of all the remaining introductions.

Specifically, I want to publish in 2021 the volumes on religious philosophy and on Judaism-Christianity, which are

crucial for the understanding of his views on the religious evolution of the Roman world and the impact of wider

cultures such as Persia: Cumont is best known as a specialist of the cult of Mithras. I also want to prepare a book

which brings together my research and publications of these last few years about Cumont which should be a

synthesis of his life and work, focusing on the interaction between the East and the West from Hellenistic times

to Late Antiquity. Cumont was ambiguous on the East, not a full rientalistin the sense Said gave to this word,

but clearly more positive about the input of the Orient in the globalized culture of the Roman Empire than most

of his contemporaries. Also, I want to write about his views about the interaction between religion, philosophy

and sciences and show he worked from a specific philosophy of history. He was also a specialist of astronomyastrology

and alchemy and had original ideas about the interaction between science and religion. In 2022 we will

commemorate the 75 year since the demise of this great Belgian scholar, and 2021 will be a crucial year to bring

the publications about Cumont to a close.