What to expect when you're expecting the Catholic Reformation

Posted on ..

Ok, here is a preview of what I'll be covering in the upcoming series on the Catholic Reformation (aka the Counter-Reformation) which will mostly focus on Iberia (=Spain and Portugal) with some glances back at Italy. As usual in these previews, I haven't listed interviews here. 

The series will kick of on January 28, with episode 438, an introduction to this mini-series. With interviews it will take most of 2024, and then we're on to the 17th-18th centuries finally (starting with France and the Low Countries).

Introduction to the Catholic Reformation
The Inquisition
Exploration and Science
The Valladoid Debate
Spanish humanism
Spanish mysticism 
The rise of the Jesuits 
Introduction to Spanish Scholasticism (SS) 
Political and legal theory in SS
Natural law theory in SS
Metaphysics in SS
Luis de Molina 
Foreknowledge and free will in SS
Francisco Suárez
Oliva Sabuco  
Velasquez (yes, I mean the painter)
"Outsider" Philosophy (The Cheese and the Worms) 

Spencer on 18 November 2023

The inquisition?

I have to say, I'm surprised...because, as you know, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! 

In reply to by Spencer

Peter Adamson on 18 November 2023

Monty Python

I was already wondering how many variations on that joke I can allow myself.

Johannes Berglein on 18 November 2023

No "Life Is a Dream"?

Dear Peter, I am delighted! Thank you very much for this preview! I was just wondering if you will cover the highly philosophical work of Pedro Calderón de la Barca. After five episodes on Shakespeare I think it is just fair to devote one whole episode to his fellow philosopher-dramatist from Spain. 

Again, many thanks your work! 

Peter Adamson on 18 November 2023

de la Barca

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll check him out. I was sort of thinking that Cervantes would be the analogous figure in this series, but that wouldn't rule it out.

Matt on 19 November 2023

And in the non-Western sphere?

Just curious! I have so thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this horizon-broadening podcast (and the books), that I can’t wait to see where you go once the Africana is concluded. It’s all been just amazing, and I can’t wait.

In reply to by Matt

Peter Adamson on 19 November 2023

After Africana

In February we are moving on to classical China! I will post a tentative episode list for that too, in the next couple of months.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

anonymous admirer on 19 November 2023



Love all your hard work, Peter.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Matt on 20 November 2023


I was wondering whether (and hoping) that might be the next stop! Such marvelously comprehensive work. Thanks again!

Burt on 28 November 2023


Beyond the episode on the Valladolid Debate, is there going to be any coverage of thought about race/ethnicity in early modern Spain/the Spanish Americas? It seems that this would fall under the purview of the podcast and, if anything, constitutes a bit of a "gap" in the coverage of the Middle Ages (it might have been nice to have an episode or two on medieval European attitudes towards race/ethnicity).

In reply to by Burt

Peter Adamson on 28 November 2023

Spanish Americas

Actually what I am hoping to do is to have a whole series on Philosophy in the Americas at some point in the future, looking at the topic you mention of course as well a Native American, Mesoamerican, and Latin American philosophy. You're right that I could/should have said more about it in the medieval period, this is a topic that is a lot higher on my radar nowadays after doing the Africana series. 

mehmet on 3 December 2023

Just for the record, the…

Just for the record, the plan given on march 20, 2021 was

Spanish humanism       
Spanish mysticism       
Vitoria and the School of Salamanca
Political and legal theory               
Natural law theory                          
The rise of the Jesuits                      
The Coimbra Commentaries
Luis de Molina                               
Francisco Suárez                           
The Suárez-Bellarmine affair
Oliva Sabuco                                  
Matteo Ricci and contact with China
De las Casas, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, and the New World
The Inquisition       
The trial of Galileo   

So the episodes about

--Vitoria and the School of Salamanca
--The Coimbra Commentaries
--The Suárez-Bellarmine affair
--Matteo Ricci and contact with China
--De las Casas, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, and the New World

seem to be cancelled. 

I think the coverage is a bit narrowed down. 

In reply to by mehmet

Peter Adamson on 3 December 2023


Actually it's more like moving stuff around (de las Casas and Sepulveda come a lot earlier now for instance, that's the Valladoid debate). I think overall maybe more episodes are planned now than before, but it is about the same. 

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.