Pico della Mirandola on Magic, Astrology and Religion

A R T L▼R K

519FRT7DBWLOn the 24th of February 1463,the Renaissance philosopherGiovanni Pico della Mirandolawas born at Mirandola, near Modena in Italy. In 1486, at the young age of 23, he famously offered to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic, in spite of opposition from theologians and Pope Innocent VIII  (the public debate never happened). His theses were supported by his work, Oration on the Dignity of Man, referred to as the ‘Manifesto of the Renaissance’, a crucial work on Renaissance humanism and the ‘Hermetic Reformation’. Hermeticism was a philosophical and religious tradition based on the alleged writings of Hermes Trismegistus, according to which one true theology established by God in antiquity links all systems of thought and belief. It is often seen as the school of thought preceding the establishment of Christianity.

The reason why Pico was unpopular with the clergy is…

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