Esoteric Reason, Occult Science, and Radical Enlightenment: seamless pursuits in the work and networks of Raimondo Di Sangro, the Prince of San Severo

Por • 31 ago, 2018 • Sección: Crítica

Clorinda Donato

This article argues for the inclusion of the Neapolitan Raimondo di Sangro, il Principe di San Severo (1710-1771) among those thinkers whose ideas, lifestyle, writings, networks and intellectual pursuits have been defined as radical. It explores the ways in which a little known Italian Radical Enlightenment thinker formed his ideas both through contact with the writings of proponents of Radical Enlightenment thought not only in England and Holland, but also in Italy and Switzerland where radical networks have been less visible to scholars. By charting the strategies for the spread and exchange of radical thought from Naples to Lausanne through heretofore unknown paths, new avenues for research are opened while the breadth and depth of the Radical Enlightenment are strengthened. “[…] the Honourable Prince’s banned book is full of sentiments and expressions at the very least seriously suspicious of error in Catholic dogma, and too favourable to the perverse and detestable systems of strong spirits, deists, Materialists, Cabbalists, etc.” (Letter from Benedict XIV to Agostino Ricchini, Secretary of the Congregation of the Index, Rome, 12 February 17541 )

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