Hilmar Pabel, born in Toronto, Canada, in 1964. Ph.D. from Yale University, New Haven. Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby.
Fellow (1 February 2009 – 30 April 2009)
THE CONFESSIONALIZATION OF HUMANISM AND THE RECEPTION OF AUGUSTINE: THE CASE OF PETER CANISIUS
I came to NIAS as a member of the theme group “The Modern and Postmodern Augustine: Aspects of His Reception from 1600 to 2000”, co-ordinated by Professor Peter Liebregts and Professor Karla Pollmann. Peter Canisius (d. 1597) was the most prolific writer in the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century. I wrote a substantial article that shows how in his famous catechisms Canisius used Augustine to assert a robust Catholic identity in the era of religious fragmentation caused by the European Reformation. The article was the basis of a lecture entitled “Confessionalizing Augustine in the Reformation Era: A Catholic Initiative” that I gave on 26 March at a NIAS seminar. I gave another lecture on Canisius on 25 April at a conference held at NIAS on “Discourses of Meditation in Art and Literature, 1300-1600.” This lecture examined “Peter Canisius’ Meditationes sive Notae Evangelicae”, a voluminous publication that until now has eluded sustained scholarly analysis. I shall submit an article on the topic for publication. My fellowship at NIAS allowed me to establish a firm foundation not only in the thought and writings of Canisius but also for a monograph that I intend to write on him.