19 May, 2022 370 Education

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Czech educator Jan Amos Komensky (1592-1670) known throughout Europe in his lifetime under the Latin version of his name, Comenius. A Protestant and member of the Unity of Brethren, he lived much of his life in exile, expelled from his homeland under the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and he wanted to address the deep antagonisms underlying the wars that were devastating Europe especially The Thirty Years War (1618-1648). A major part of his plan was Universal Education, in which everyone could learn about everything, and better understand each other and so tolerate their religious differences and live side by side. His ideas were to have a lasting influence on education, even though the peace that followed the Thirty Years War only entrenched the changes in his homeland that made his life there impossible.

The image above is from a portrait of Comenius by Jurgen Ovens, 1650 - 1670, painted while he was living in Amsterdam and held in the Rikjsmuseum

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  • Vladimir Urbanek No other episodes
    Senior Researcher in the Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Suzanna Ivanic No other episodes
    Lecturer in Early Modern European History at the University of Kent
  • Howard Hotson 2 episodes
    Professor of Early Modern Intellectual History at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Anne's College

Reading list

  • The Conception of Man in the Works of John Amos Comenius
    Jan Cizek (Peter Lang, 2016)
  • The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart
    John Amos Comenius (trans. Howard Louthan and Andrea Sterk) (Paulist Press, 1997) Google Books →
  • The School of Infancy
    John Amos Comenius (Kessinger Publishing Co, 2003) Google Books →
  • The Great Didactica
    John Amos Comenius (trans. M. W. Keatinge) (White Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Orbis Sensualium Pictus / The Visible World Depicted
    John Amos Comenius (Gale ECCO, Print Editions, 2018)
  • Panorthosia or Universal Reform: chapters 1-18 and 27
    John Amos Comenius (trans. by A.M.O. Dobbie) (Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • Panorthosia or Universal Reform: chapters 19-26
    John Amos Comenius (trans. by A.M.O. Dobbie) (Sheffield Academic Press, 1993) Google Books →
  • The Way of Light
    John Amos Comenius (trans. E. T. Campagnac) (Hodder & Stoughton, 1938) Google Books →
  • Rudolf II and His World
    Robert J. W. Evans (Oxford University Press, 1973) Google Books →
  • Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation
    Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie and Timothy Raylor (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • J. A. Comenius and the Concept of Universal Education
    John Edward Sadler (Routledge, 2013) Google Books →
  • Religious Representation in Comenius's Orbis sensualium pictus (1658)
    Andrew Spicer (Reformation and Renaissance Review, 2019)
  • John Amos Comenius: That Incomparable Moravian
    Matthew Spinka (University of Chicago Press, 1943) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 370 (Education)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the 17th century, the Czech educator Comenius had a great plan to address the deep antagonisms behind the wars that were devastating Europe.