This book introduces the ethical, philosophical, and social legacy of the work of Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), highlighting the theological element of Bolzano’s thought. Bolzano influenced several key thinkers (primarily Catholic priests) such as Vincenc Zahradník, Josef Michael Fesl, Anton Krombholz, František Schneider, and their pupils and successors. Zahradník co-founded an important professional Czech periodical and created much of modern Czech theological terminology. Anton Krombholz became an important representative of Austrian education after 1848, working at the Vienna Ministry of Education. Based on her previous comprehensive Czech monograph, the author now highlights other new manuscripts from Krombholz’s literary legacy. She underscores connections between Bolzano's legacy and the reform movement of the Czech Catholic clergy, emphasizing that Bolzano's ideas resonated in Czech Catholic modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Notwithstanding the tumultuous national development of Czechs and Germans in nineteenth-century Bohemia, Bolzano's conception of a peaceful coexistence between the two nationalities in Bohemia very favorably contributed to the preservation of the unity of the Catholic Church during such ethnically complex times. The author’s theological conception draws upon the works of Jan Milíč Lochman (1922–2004), who, in addition to writing on contemporary ecumenical themes, also dealt with the spiritual legacy of the Czech National Revival.
Kamila Veverková works as the dean of the Hussite Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague.
Angelo Shaun Franklin is an independent researcher who works as a translator and educational consultant in Prague.
Chapter 1: The Late Enlightenment in Bohemia and within the Bolzano Circle
Chapter 2: The Ethical Foundations of Bolzano’s Works
Chapter 3: Reflections on the Transformation of the Family after the Advent of Industrial Society
Chapter 4: Bolzano and the Jewish Question
Chapter 5: The Theological, Philosophical, and Pedagogical Problematic of Vincenc Zahradník
Chapter 6: Krombholz’s Manuscripts
Chapter 7: The Importance of New Research on Bolzano and His Circle
About the Author and Translator
Bernard Bolzano: A New Evaluation of His Thought and His Circle is a valuable contribution which helps to gain a better understanding of the foundations of the Catholic modernist movement and place it within the European historical context.
This book represents a welcome contribution to the broader study of the Enlightenment in Central Europe. It adds a deeper understanding of the intellectual legacy of the Catholic Enlightenment in its late phase and contributes new facts and a new perspective for understanding the Czech spiritual environment of the first half of the nineteenth century while at the same time carefully enlightening Bolzano's thought and circle.