Christoph Sander

I have studied philosophy at University of Freiburg (B.A., 2011) and Humboldt University Berlin (M.A., 2013). In 2019, I received my Ph.D. from the Technical University of Berlin with a thesis on the conceptions of magnetism in the early-modern period. The aim of this study was to map the various disciplinary contexts (e.g. medicine, astronomy, or natural philosophy) in which scholars dealt with loadstones, magnetism, and explanations of magnetic attraction. Ongoing digital research and publications relating to this topic are continously published on my website Rara Magnetica.

Since October 2019, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome (Max Planck Institute for Art History), within the research group Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions, led by Sietske Fransen. In my project, I investigate the production, typology and use of diagrams in early modern science. My two guiding questions are: What is a diagram in the early modern period? And what are different types of diagrams scientists used for different purposes in that period? As a case study it shall be focused on pre-modern (1300–1650) attempts to visualize magnetism through diagrams, serving as a blueprint for other historical fields of research.

During the spring term 2020, I have been a senior fellow at Boston College's Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, preparing an OpenAccess online edition of Leonardo Garzoni's Trattato delli maravigliosi effetti della calamita et delle cause loro. This edition is prepared with Transkribus and TEI technology.

Beyond my research related to magnetism I have a second field of research, namely, the history of early-modern Jesuit philosophy, particularly the idea and practice of censorship in Jesuit colleges.

Furthermore, I have contributed to a digital humanities project at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science ( Berlin ), exploring the history of early-modern editions of and commentaries on Johannes de Sacrobosco’s astronomical classic De sphaera mundi.

I have been a contributor to the New Sommervogel (Boston College) and I have been appointed as Associate Editor for the series History of Early Modern Educational Thought (Brill). In 2019, I have contributed to the Leibniz-Edition at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Between 2008 and 2017, I have assisted the Secretary General of the SIEPM. I have co-organized conferences/panels (among others at the Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America and at the Villa Vigoni) and delivered several papers at international conferences.

You can download my CV here.



Rara Magnetica: A Repository of Texts and Images Related to the Premodern Research on Magnetism.


Magnes: der Magnetstein und der Magnetismus in den Wissenschaften der Frühen Neuzeit. Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 53. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2020. (partially OpenAccess). See also addenda et corrigenda.
Reviews: Andrea Strazzoni (Physis 55, no. 1-2 (2020): 519-522) | Gerhard Wiesenfeldt (NTM, 2021) | Frans Hoppenbrouwers and Niek Wiskerke (Filosofie online, 2021)

Edited Volume

‚Omne verum vero consonat’. Das Prinzip der Einheit der Wahrheit zwischen 5. Laterankonzil (1512‐1517) und Wissenschaftlicher Revolution, edited by Annalisa Capiello, Marco Lamanna, and Christoph Sander, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 64, no. 1 (OpenAccess) and no. 2 (OpenAccess) (2017).



  1. Paratexts, Printers, and Publishers: Book Production in Social Context. In Publishing Sacrobosco’s De sphaera in Early Modern Europe: Modes of Material and Scientific Exchange, edited by Matteo Valleriani and Andrea Ottone, 337367. Cham: Springer Nature, 2022. (OpenAccess)
  2. Nutrition and Magnetism. An Ancient Idea Fleshed out in Early Modern Natural Philosophy, Medicine and Alchemy. In Nutrition and Nutritive Soul in Aristotle and Aristotelianism, edited by Roberto Lo Presti and Georgia-Maria Korobili, 285318. Topics in Ancient Philosophy. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021.
  3. Die Außengrenzen des menschlichen Körpers. Das Wesen von Blut und Haaren in scholastischen Debatten der Frühen Neuzeit. In De homine. Anthropologien in der Frühen Neuzeit, edited by Sascha Salatowsky and Wilhelm Schmidt‐Biggemann, 181-215. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2021.
  4. Magnetism for Librarians. Leone Allacci’s De magnete (1625) and Its Relation to Giulio Cesare LaGalla’s Disputatio de sympathia et antipathia (1623). Erudition and the Republic of Letters 5, no. 3 (2020): 274–307. (OpenAccess).
  5. (with Matteo Valleriani, Florian Kräutli, Maryam Zamani, Alejandro Tejedor, Malte Vogl, Sabine Bertram, Gesa Funke, and Holger Kantz) The Emergence of Epistemic Communities in the Sphaera Corpus. Journal of Historical Network Research 3, no. 1 (2019): 50–91. (OpenAccess)
  6. Magnets and Garlic. An Enduring Antipathy in Early-Modern Science. Intellectual History Review 30, no. 4 (2020): 523–560. (OpenAccess)
  7. Uniformitas et soliditas doctrinae. History, Topics and Impact of Jesuit Censorship in Philosophy (1550-1599). In Jesuit Philosophy on the Eve of Modernity, edited by Cristiano Casalini, 3471. Jesuit Studies 20. Leiden; Boston : Brill, 2019.
  8. Johannes de Sacrobosco und die Sphaera-Tradition in der katholischen Zensur der Frühen Neuzeit. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 26, no. 4 (2018): 437–474. (OpenAccess)
  9. Alfonso Salmerón über weltliche Wissenschaften im Dienste der Bibelexegese. In ‚Omne verum vero consonat’. Das Prinzip der Einheit der Wahrheit zwischen 5. Laterankonzil (1512‐1517) und Wissenschaftlicher Revolution. Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 64, no. 2 (2017): 344-360. Quellentexte
  10. Magnetism. In Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, edited by Marco Sgarbi. Dordrecht: Springer, 2018.
  11. Magnetismus und Theamedismus. Eine Fallstudie zur Kenntnis der magnetischen Abstoßung in der Naturkunde der Frühen Neuzeit. Sudhoffs Archiv 101, no. 1 (2017): 42–72.
  12. (with Cristiano Casalini) Benet Perera’s Pious Humanism. Aristotelianism, Philology, and Education in Jesuit Colleges. An Edition of Perera's Documenta quaedam perutilia. In History of Universities, edited by Mordechai Feingold, 30,1:1–42. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  13. For Christ’s Sake: Pious Notions of the Human and Animal Body in Early Jesuit Philosophy and Theology. In Human and Animal Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy and Medicine, edited by Roberto Lo Presti and Stefanie Buchenau, 55–73. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017. (OpenAccess).
  14. Der Dämon im Text: Lateinische Lesarten von De Somno 453b22 und De Divinatione per Somnum 463b12 zwischen 1150 und 1650. Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales 83, no. 2 (2016): 245–311.
  15. Early-Modern Magnetism: Uncovering New Textual Links between Leonardo Garzoni SJ (1543–1592), Paolo Sarpi OSM (1552–1623), Giambattista Della Porta (1535–1615), and the Accademia Dei Lincei. Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu 85, no. 2 (2016): 303–63.
  16. In dubio pro fide. The Fifth Council of the Lateran Decree Apostolici Regiminis (1513) and Its Impact on Early Jesuit Education and Pedagogy. Educazione. Giornale di Pedagogia Critica 3, no. 1 (2014): 39–62.
  17. Medical Topics in the De Anima Commentary of Coimbra (1598) and the Jesuits’ Attitude towards Medicine in Education and Natural Philosophy. Early Science and Medicine 19, no. 1 (2014): 76–101.
  18. The War of the Roses. The Debate between Diego de Ledesma and Benet Perera about the Philosophy Course at the Jesuit College in Rome. Edited by Marco Lamanna and Marco Forlivesi. Quaestio 14 (2014): 31–50.


  1. How to Send a Secret Message from Rome to Paris in the Early Modern Period: Telegraphy between Magnetism, Sympathy, and Charlatanry. Early Science and Medicine.
  2. Magnetism in an Aristotelian World (1550-1700). In Aristoteles und die Naturphilosophie an den mitteleuropäischen Universitäten der Frühen Neuzeit, 1600-1700, edited by Bernd Roling, Sinem Kılıç, and Benjamin Wallura. Wolfenbütteler Forschungen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
  3. Teaching Magnetism in a Cartesian World (1650-1700). In Descartes in the Classroom, edited by Davide Cellamare and Mattia Mantovani. Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy and Science. Leiden; Boston: Brill.
  4. Tempering Occult Qualities. Magnetism and Complexio in Early Modern Medical Thought. Edited by Chiara Beneduce and Paul J. J. M. Bakker. Early Science and Medicine.
  5. Terra AB. Descartes’s Imagery on Magnetism and Its Legacy. In Cartesian Images. Picturing Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Age, edited by Davide Cellamare and Mattia Mantovani. Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy and Science. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

in preparation

  1. Messungen und Erklärungen der magnetischen Inklination im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert.
  2. Pietro Pomponazzi on Magnetic and Sexual Attraction.
  3. What Was a Diagram in the Early-Modern Period?
  4. Making Magnetism Visible in the Early-Modern Period. A Census of All Images Related to Magnetism between 1500 and 1650.

(c) Christoph Sander