A useful prism through which one can examine the positive Jesuit attitude toward the human condition is that of the nature and operations of the vegetative soul. Rather than neglecting aspects that pertained presumably to the lowest functions of human life, Jesuit theologians dealt with issues of nutrition and generation in a variety of their works. Sometimes, Jesuit theologians even went beyond their own teaching interests to put the vegetative soul at the very center of their research. This contribution will inquire into a successful long seller during the seventeenth century as an example of such literature. In 1613, the Dutch theologian Leonard Lessius (1554–1623) published the Hygiasticon seu vera ratio valetudinis bonae et vitae ad extremam senectute conservandam (Antwerp), a peculiar treatise that was strictly focused on nutrition and the best ways to optimize it for the physical and spiritual health of human beings. Although such an outcome was the fruit of a moral habit rooted in human learning and observation, Lessius also connected it to traditional virtues such as “temperance” and “sobriety.” By doing this, Lessius seemed to provide an implicit correction to the ranking of human functions–at least from the practical aspects of living a Christian life–, as nothing superior could be performed without rendering appropriate respect to the lower powers. As was true of any being in this world, humans were to be primarily gardeners of their souls.

The Jesuit Cultivation of Vegetative Souls: Leonard Lessius (1554–1623) on a Sober Diet / Madella, L.; Casalini, C.. - STAMPA. - 234:(2021), pp. 177-198. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Vegetative Powers. The Roots of Life in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Natural Philosophy tenutosi a Padua nel 2018, September [10.1007/978-3-030-69709-9].

The Jesuit Cultivation of Vegetative Souls: Leonard Lessius (1554–1623) on a Sober Diet

Madella L.;
2021

Abstract

A useful prism through which one can examine the positive Jesuit attitude toward the human condition is that of the nature and operations of the vegetative soul. Rather than neglecting aspects that pertained presumably to the lowest functions of human life, Jesuit theologians dealt with issues of nutrition and generation in a variety of their works. Sometimes, Jesuit theologians even went beyond their own teaching interests to put the vegetative soul at the very center of their research. This contribution will inquire into a successful long seller during the seventeenth century as an example of such literature. In 1613, the Dutch theologian Leonard Lessius (1554–1623) published the Hygiasticon seu vera ratio valetudinis bonae et vitae ad extremam senectute conservandam (Antwerp), a peculiar treatise that was strictly focused on nutrition and the best ways to optimize it for the physical and spiritual health of human beings. Although such an outcome was the fruit of a moral habit rooted in human learning and observation, Lessius also connected it to traditional virtues such as “temperance” and “sobriety.” By doing this, Lessius seemed to provide an implicit correction to the ranking of human functions–at least from the practical aspects of living a Christian life–, as nothing superior could be performed without rendering appropriate respect to the lower powers. As was true of any being in this world, humans were to be primarily gardeners of their souls.
978-3-030-69708-2
978-3-030-69709-9
The Jesuit Cultivation of Vegetative Souls: Leonard Lessius (1554–1623) on a Sober Diet / Madella, L.; Casalini, C.. - STAMPA. - 234:(2021), pp. 177-198. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Vegetative Powers. The Roots of Life in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Natural Philosophy tenutosi a Padua nel 2018, September [10.1007/978-3-030-69709-9].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2912826
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