Ioan Petru Culianu#

Lives, Works, Legacies#


Iași, 21-23 October 2022

Aula Magna "Carmen Sylva", Universitatea Tehnică "Gh. Asachi", Bd. Carol I, nr. 11 A, Iași, Romania, and Zoom

Conveners: Sorin Antohi MAE and Alexandru Dan Ciochină

Organizers: Asociația „Orbis Tertius”, Institutul de Studii și Cercetări Simbolice, Universitatea Tehnică "Gh. Asachi"
Partners: Societatea pentru Cultura și Literatura Română în Bucovina, Asociația “Al. I. Cuza”, Direcția Județeană pentru Cultură Iași, Biblioteca Centrală Universitară „Mihai Eminescu”, Universitatea Națională de Arte „George Enescu”, Universitatea „Al. I. Cuza”, POLIROM
Media Partners: Trivium, Timpul, Observator cultural

To follow the colloquium in real time, please go to:

Participants and others who might want to contribute to the discussion are kindly asked to use the following Zoom links:

October 21st, 2022:
October 22nd, 2022:
October 23rd, 2022:

Ioan Petru Culianu
Ioan Petru Culianu

The colloquium will examine the life and work of a Romanian scholar and writer, Ioan Petru Culianu (1950-1991), disciple of Mircea Eliade, murdered on the precincts of the University of Chicago's Divinity School. Despite his passing at 41, the bibliography of his work and of the works on him has more than a thousand pages.

The colloquium takes place in Iași, Romania, where Culianu was born, a majestic hall built by his grand grandfather, then Rector of the local university.

Almost a historical generation after his brutal death, Ioan Petru Culianu is an enduring, seminal, and haunting presence. This colloquium examines him in a liminal situation, that of someone standing on the threshold of History, in a fluid space, engaged in a rite of passage from a memory that is mainly living, fragmentary, passionate (ranging from hagiography to slander) to a predominantly historicized, comprehensive, critical, and calm memory (the one that Paul Ricoeur called mémoire apaisée).

The following years seem decisive for the long-term fate of Ioan Petru Culianu’s ideas, works, projects, lives (real and fictional). Taking stock of the first three decades of Culianu’s posterity, and looking into the future, we meet and talk in his native town, in a historic hall inaugurated by his grand grandfather. In various ways, material and immaterial, many people from several generations, countries, and cultures are going to be there...

The working language is English, with some contributions in Romanian. A collective volume based on this colloquium and on some of its past and future extensions is planned for 2023.

This is the first event in Romania and South-East Europe under the auspices of the Academia Europaea. On behalf of the conveners, partners, and sponsors, I would like to thank the leadership of the prestigious forum for immediately granting us their symbolic support. I hope we are thus getting a step closer to the realization of an important strategic project, the Bucharest Academia Europea Regional Knowledge Hub.

Prior to the opening of the Colloquium, on 21 October, from 16:30 to 17:30, at the “Orest Tafrali” Bookshop (UAIC, corp A, parter), all participants and the public are invited to a book launch: Elena Bondor, Ioan Petru Culianu. Bibliografie (Polirom, 2022, 2 vols., 1,044 pp.). Interventions: Elena Bondor, Emanuela Stoleriu, Liviu Antonesei, Ioan Milică, Sorin Antohi.

Download the programme(info) (complete with bios and abstracts).


Friday, 21 October

18:00-20:00 II. Lives

Sorin Antohi, Opening Remarks

Grazia Marchianò, Culianu on Cognition: Prophetic Conjectures (read by Sorin Antohi)

Dorin Tudoran, "He Wrote Books, Then He Died" (read by Sorin Antohi)

Liviu Antonesei, Diptic: biografii alternative [Diptych: Alternative Biographies]

Ted Anton, Thirty Years Later (online)

Pablo Maurette, The Ludibrium: Ioan Petru Culianu Revisited in Fiction


Saturday, 22 October

10:00-12:00 III. Works 1
Roberta Moretti, History is Not a Matter of Time: Towards a New Paradigm for Knowledge

Giovanni Casadio, Ioan Petru Culianu: From the Historical-Comparative Method to the Games of the Mind

Gabriel Badea, Ioan Petru Culianu and His Theory of Magic


12:00-14:30 Break

14:30-16:30 IV. Works 2 Eduard Iricinschi, How to Become a Magister of the Art: Magic and the Art of Memory in Culianu’s Fiction (online)

Igor Tavilla, A Synoptic Look on Culianu’s Trees of Gnosis (online)

Horia Corneliu Cicortaș, Remarks on the Literary Fortune of Ioan Petru Culianu (online)


16:30-17:00 Break

17:00-19:00 V. Legacies

Nicu Gavriluță, Actualitatea lui Ioan Petru Culianu [The Topicality of Ioan Petru Culianu]

Elena Bondor, Note despre receptarea operei lui Ioan Petru Culianu în România [Notes on the Reception of Ioan Petru Culianu’s Oeuvre in Romania]

Andrei Oișteanu, Ioan Petru Culianu despre dualismul religios în Europa de Sud-Est [Ioan Petru Culianu on Religious Dualism in South-East Europe] (online)


Sunday, 23 October

10:00-12:00 VI. Synthesis

Mircea Dumitru, Is There a Role for Epistemology in the History of Religion(s)?

Moshe Idel, Ioan Petru Culianu. His Works and His Lives (online)

Sorin Antohi, The Games of a Mind. A Portrait of Ioan Petru Culianu



  • Sorin Antohi
  • Ted Anton (online)
  • Liviu Antonesei
  • Gabriel Badea
  • Elena Bondor
  • Giovanni Casadio
  • Horia Corneliu Cicortaș (online)
  • Florin Cîntic (discussant)
  • Mircea Dumitru
  • Nicu Gavriluță
  • Moshe Idel (online)
  • Eduard Iricinschi (online)
  • Grazia Marchianò (text)
  • Pablo Maurette
  • Roberta Moretti
  • Andrei Oișteanu (online)
  • Alexandru-Florin Platon (discussant)
  • Igor Tavilla (online)
  • Dorin Tudoran (text)

Note: the programme is also archived at, together with various other colloquium-related materials, posted as they become available.

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