Nicholas of Cusa was dedicated to addressing grievances in society, politics and Christian life which in his view resulted primarily from bad customs and the granting of singular privileges. He therefore pursued a program of general reform that consisted of dogmatically and systematically reestablishing forgotten rules. The main field for this policy of redogmatization was spiritual. Nicholas functioned as a papal legate in Germany and Italy and as bishop of Brixen, and he proposed curial reforms as well. His efforts were also secular, for example the reconstitution of ancient legal standards that characterized his involvement in the controversy over the diocese of Trier, the Council of Basel, and the conflict with Duke Sigismund of Austria. This study of the well documented life of the cardinal and his social context therefore also contributes to analyzing contemporary strategies for handling social crisis.
© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston