In-cognita: Ioan Petru Culianu’s Approaches to Religion

DUMBRAVĂ, Daniela; TĂTARU-CAZABAN, Bogdan (eds.)


In-cognita: Ioan Petru Culianu’s Approaches to Religion

Ioan Petru Culianu’s scientific work unfortunately remained unfinished. His major contributions to the fields of Renaissance studies, ecstatic experiences, and Gnosticism, as well as to the historiography of the history of religions, delineate an itinerary from historical hermeneutics to a radical epistemological shift illustrated by his last books, and especially by the periodical he founded and directed: Incognita: International Journal for Cognitive Studies in the Humanities (1990–1991). Thirty years after his tragic death, this collective volume is meant to address Culianu’s intellectual legacy from different methodological perspectives. A thorough analysis of his various investigations in the history of religions is presented alongside a critical evaluation of his final cognitivist theory of religion as a system. Exploring Ioan Petru Culianu’s stimulating and innovative work is thus one way to honour his brilliant mind and his passionate quest for meaning.

Contributors: Giulia Sfameni Gasparro, Moshe Idel, Giovanni Casadio, Maria Vittoria Cerutti, Dana Jalobeanu, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Sascha Freyberg, Arianna Migliorini, Edward Kanterian, Roberta Moretti, Gregory Spinner, Laura Teodora David, Dorin David,  Daniela Dumbravă and Bogdan Tătaru-Cazaban.


Daniela Dumbravă, Bogdan Tătaru-Cazaban, Introduction [OPEN ACCESS]

Giulia Sfameni Gasparro, Ricordo di Ioan Petru Culianu: tra Milano e Messina

Major Themes in the History of Religions

Moshe Idel, Ioan P. Coulianu, the American Phase, and “Ars combinatoria”

Giovanni Casadio, Ermeneutica del dualismo e logica binaria: Ioan Petru Culianu da Mircea Eliade e Ugo Bianchi a Raimondo Lullo

Maria Vittoria Cerutti, Il dualismo religioso, tra (e dopo) U. Bianchi e I. P. Culianu

Renaissance: Magic and Epistemology

Dana Jalobeanu, Emblems as Epistemic Tools and Heuristic Devices: Bruno, Bacon and Culianu. An Exercise on Perspectival Contextualism 

Arianna Migliorini, L’acrobata dell’immaginario. Note sull’esegesi bruniana din Culianu

Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Sascha Freyberg, “Vinculum Amoris”: Renaissance Magic, Propaganda and Populist Reason from Culianu to Laclau

Juggling Notions of “Religion”: Ioan Petru Culianu’s Mind Games

Edward Kanterian, On the Use and Misuse of Science in the Humanities: The Case of Culianu’s Morphodynamics

Gregory Spinner, Configurations. Studying Divination with Ioan Culianu

Roberta Moretti, The Serious Play of Knowledge in Ioan P. Culianu.“Beyond the Combinatory Logic”

Laura Teodora David, Dorin David, Culianu’s Model and the Physics of Religion



ISBN: 978-606-8266-05-3 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-606-8266-06-0 (electronic)

Weight 0.521 kg
Dimensions 21 × 14.8 × 3 cm
Publication Year



English, Italian

Buying options

Paperback for Individuals, eBook for Individuals, Paperback Institution, eBook Institution