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The exhibition 'Juan Andrés and the Spanish Universalist School' has been opened in the Historical Library of the Complutense University in Madrid (C/ Noviciado 3). It can be visited until mid-June. It is the commemoration of the bicentennial of the death of the Jesuit Juan Andrés (1740-1817), author of the first “History of the Universal Literature”. Juan Andrés was head of the Universalist School, along with Lorenzo Hervás, Antonio Eximeno, Antonio José Cavanilles and Francisco Javier Clavijero. The Universalist School was formed by thirty authors, more related ones, and diverse precursors. They altogether outline a humanistic tradition that will show itself in a brilliant Enlightenment whose emergence modifies the image of modern Hispanic and Western culture.

Juan Andrés (1740-1817), was a Spanish Jesuit, native of Alicante. He studied at the University of Gandía, abolished in 1772 when the Jesuits were expelled from Spain. At the time of the expulsion he marched to Ferrara. He devoted much of his life to humanistic studies from the Christian perspective. He was one of the greatest Spanish intellectuals of his time and was thus recognized, although history has not done justice. Juan Andrés created the History of the Universal Literature. This was based on the methods of scientific study, contributing thus a new vision to the humanistic studies. He was also one of the parents of the modern comparative methodology, a research method that is based on the comparison of comparable phenomena (comparative literature, comparative history, comparative linguistics ...)

The 'Spanish Universalist School of the eighteenth century' generally concerns the entire Hispanic world and especially Mexico, but also to Italy, where many of its authors lived a long exile and composed their works. It represents the creation of the modern Comparatistic. The Universalist School, consisting mainly of Jesuit intellectuals, openly raises the need to relate scientific progress to human nature and culture. This humanist and scientific illustration went further than political Enlightenment, and today offers clear instruments to successfully address the era of Globalization.

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