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David Albertson

Assistant Professor of Religion

Contact Information
E-mail: dalberts@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-7050
Office: ACB 227

LINKS
American Cusanus Society
"Mathematical Theologies" in the press
 

Education

Ph.D. Religion, University of Chicago, 2008
M.Div. Theology, University of Chicago, 2003
B.A. Religion, Stanford University, 2000
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science, The Huntington Library, 2012-2013   
Visiting Researcher, Thomas-Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 2006-2007   
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

I study medieval and early modern Christianity in Europe with an emphasis on interdisciplinary intellectual history. I’m interested in the multiple transformations of Christian thought and culture from 1100-1700, and especially the way that theological discourses have been conditioned by other modes of knowledge such as natural science, philosophy, and visual culture. Because "mysticism" often designates areas of dissent and innovation within traditional religion, my research focuses on mysticism and philosophy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. My first book, "Mathematical Theologies" (Oxford University Press, 2014), studies the fifteenth-century German polymath, Nicholas of Cusa, whose writings combined mystical theology with medieval number theory. The book traces his connections to ancient Pythagoreans and to twelfth-century scholastics. I'm currently working on a second book about religious uses of geometrical diagrams in the Renaissance and Reformation. In collaboration with K. Meredith Ziebart, I'm also preparing a volume of translations of controversial mystical texts for the series Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations. Other interests include visual studies and religion, particularly the history of iconoclasm; the history of religious ethics and political theologies; and contemporary continental philosophy of religion.
 

Research Specialties

Medieval and Renaissance Christianity, Christian mysticism, medieval and Renaissance philosophy, philosophy of religion, visual culture
 

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

NEH Enduring Questions: How Far Can the Eye See? On the Power of Visual Images (National Endowment for the Humanities), $24,933, 2010-2011   
 

USC Funding

Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Grant Writing Mentorship Program: , $5,000, 2011-2012   
Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Between Mathematics and Mysticism: Nicholas of Cusa and the School of Chartres: , $17,000, 2008-2009   
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Geometrical Icons in Early Modern Christianity", Manfred Lautenschlaeger Kolloquium , Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Heidelberg University, FIIT, Invited, Spring 2014   
"The Fold in the Boethian Corpus: Thierry of Chartres’s Univocal Reading of Institutio arithmetica", Revisiting the Legacy of Boethius in the Middle Ages, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, Harvard University, Spring 2014   
"The Beauty of the Trinity: Achard of St. Victor as Forgotten Precursor of Nicholas of Cusa", Kolloquium des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, Talk/Oral Presentation, Freising, Germany, Invited, Fall 2012   
"Geometrical Icons in Nicholas of Cusa and Heymeric de Campo: Mystical Contemplation, Minimum Visibility and Early Modern Reform", Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinäre, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, Duke University, Spring 2012   
"The One and the Many in Cusanus and Badiou", Premodern Catholic Tradition and Postmodern Religious Experience, Keynote Lecture, University of California, Santa Barbara, Invited, Spring 2011   
"Gott und die Schöpfung im Verständnis des Nikolaus von Kues", Jubiläumssymposion des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, Talk/Oral Presentation, University of Trier, Germany, Institut für Cusanus-Forschung, Invited, Fall 2010   
 

Publications

Book

Albertson, D. (2014). Mathematical Theologies: Nicholas of Cusa and the Legacy of Thierry of Chartres. Oxford University Press. Winner of 2014 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award
Albertson, D., King, C. (2009). Without Nature: A New Condition for Theology. Fordham University Press. Link to book
 

Book Chapter

Albertson, D. (2014). "De docta ignorantia I-III/Über die belehrte Unwissenheit I–III" and "De genesi/Über den Ursprung" in Nikolaus von Kues: Leben und Werk. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. pp. 142-152, 170-174. Link to book
Albertson, D. (2012). "In Search of Unity: Reform and Mathematical Form in the Conciliarist Arguments of Heymeric de Campo’s Disputatio de potestate ecclesiastica (1433)" in Reassessing Reform: An Historical Investigation. pp. 149-169. Catholic University of America Press. Link to book
Albertson, D. (2009). "Without Nature?" in Without Nature: A New Condition for Theology. pp. 1-14. Fordham University Press. Link to book
Albertson, D. (2008). "Mapping the Space of God: Mystical Weltbilder in Nicholas of Cusa and the Structure of De ludo globi (1463)" in Weltbilder im Mittelalter: Perceptions of the World in the Middle Ages. pp. 61-81. Bernstein Verlag. Link to book
 

Book Review

Albertson, D. (2012). Morimichi Watanabe, Nicholas of Cusa: A Companion to His Life and Times. Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus Gesellschaft, Bd. 33. pp. 348-350.
Albertson, D. (2011). Thomas A. Carlson, The Indiscrete Image: Infinitude and Creation of the Human. Journal of Religion 91(1). pp. 114-116.
Albertson, D. (2010). Nancy J. Hudson, Becoming God: The Doctrine of Theosis in Nicholas of Cusa. International Journal of Systematic Theology 12(4). pp. 476-478.
Albertson, D. (2010). Jovino de Guzman Miroy, Tracing Nicholas of Cusa’s Early Development. Catholic Historical Review 96(3). pp. 533-534.
Albertson, D. (2010). Walter S. Melion and Lee Palmer Wandel (eds.), Early Modern Eyes. Renaissance Quarterly 63(4). pp. 1377-78.
 

Journal Article

Albertson, D. (2012). "Achard of St. Victor (d. 1171) and the Eclipse of the Arithmetic Model of the Trinity". Traditio. Vol. 67, pp. 101-144. Link to article
Albertson, D. (2012). "A Late Medieval Reaction to Thierry of Chartres's (d. 1157) Philosophy: The Anti-Platonist Argument of the Anonymous Fundamentum Naturae". Vivarium. Vol. 50 (1), pp. 53-84. Link to article
Albertson, D. (2010). "Mystical Philosophy in the Fifteenth Century: New Directions in Research on Nicholas of Cusa". Religion Compass. Vol. 4 (8), pp. 471-485. Link to article
Albertson, D. (2010). "A Learned Thief? Nicholas of Cusa and the Anonymous 'Fundamentum Naturae': Reassessing the Vorlage Theory". Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales. Vol. 77 (2), pp. 351-390. Link to article
Albertson, D. (2006). "That He Might Fill All Things": Creation and Christology in Two Treatises by Nicholas of Cusa. International Journal of Systematic Theology. Vol. 8 (2), pp. 184-205. Link to article
Albertson, D. (2005). "On ‘the Gift’ in Tanner’s Theology: A Patristic Parable". Modern Theology. Vol. 21 (1), pp. 107-118. Link to article
 

Proceedings

Albertson, D. (2014). "The Beauty of the Trinity: Achard of St. Victor as a Forgotten Precursor of Nicholas of Cusa" in Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, Bd. 34. pp. (In press). Paulinus Verlag.
Albertson, D. (2012). "Gott als Mathematiker. Das Schöpfungsverständnis des Nicolaus Cusanus" in Der Gottes-Gedanke des Nikolaus von Kues. Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, Bd. 33. pp. 99-122. Paulinus Verlag. Link to book
 

Honors and Awards

Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, Forschungszentrum Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie, University of Heidelberg, 2014-2015   
ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship (deferred to 2015-2016), 2013-2014   
Dibner Research Fellowship in the History of Science and Technology, The Huntington Library, 2012-2013   
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, General Education Teaching Award, 2009-2010   
Fulbright Fellowship, Germany, 2006-2007   
 
 
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