Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Fate and Fortune in Renaissance Thought

A one-day Colloquium to be held at the University of Warwick on 27th May 2016
Keynote address: Dilwyn Knox (University College London).
Respondent: Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London)

The aim of the colloquium is to explore the significance of the concepts of fate and fortune in Renaissance thought. While having a significant medieval background in theological texts and in The Consolation of Philosophy and other philosophical treatises, these concepts received new interpretations during the Renaissance period. The cause was a renewed interest in Cicero’s treatises, as well as in Alexander of Aphrodisias and Stoic philosophy. On the other hand, the question of fate and fortune seems to be closely related to religious disputes of the sixteenth century.

Hopefully, the colloquium will contribute to a better understanding of these concepts and their crucial role in the history of Renaissance thought. Despite some valuable publications on the topic, a number of its aspects still remain unclear. The interdisciplinary character of the conference would allow to explore the place of fortune and fate in religious,
philosophical and artistic contexts in the Renaissance.

  • A number of fundamental questions will be addressed including:
  • The classical tradition and its contribution to the (re)consideration of these concepts in the Renaissance
  • Renaissance Stoicism and the reception of Alexander of Aphrodisias
  • Religious controversies in the sixteenth century and the disputes on free will, fate and fortune in theological texts. Determinism
  • Fate and fortune in respect of controversies on astrology and magic in the Renaissance
  • The image of fate and fortune in Renaissance art

Fees (including lunch and / or refreshments)

Full registration fee: £25
Warwick staff fee: £20
Student fee: £15

Thanks to the generous support of the SRS, 4 bursaries of £80 each covering travel expenses are available for PhD students wishing to attend the event. Applications for these bursaries should send a statement of interest as well as a one-page CV by 6pm (GMT) 1st April 2016 to the organiser, Ovanes Akopyan: Please do not complete the online registration form link at top left if you are applying for a bursary.

We are extremely grateful for conference sponsorship from the HRC, SRS, RSSP and also the CSR.

hrclogo2016.jpg avatar_photo_400x400_renaissance_studies_ruby_red.png SRS RSSP-logo-2015

(Most major credit/debit cards are accepted)

Registration closes at 6pm (GMT) on Sunday 15th May 2016 (or when the maximum number of places have been registered)

Terms and Conditions (these are important, so do please read) (PDF Document)

Downloadable Programme, Abstracts and Speaker Biographies


Albrecht Dürer ~ Fortuna