The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science

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Overview

In this book, Dr. Harrison examines the role played by the bible in the emergence of natural science. He shows how both the contents of the bible, and more particularly the way it was interpreted, had a profound influence on conceptions of nature from the third century to the seventeenth. The rise of modern science is linked to the Protestant approach to texts, an approach which spelt an end to the symbolic world of the middle ages, and established the conditions for the scientific investigation and technological exploitation of nature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The achievements of this ambitious book should be debated by scholars." Religious Studies Review

"Harrison has written a very interesting addition to the literature about Protestants and science, one that expands our understanding of the history of science and of ideas about nature." Mark Stoll, Environmental History

"Harrison's book is well written and his arguments are easy to follow...I am convinced of the importance and fruitfulness of his approach in investigating the study of nature and the study of the Bible as inextricably linked." Church History

"peter Harrison's splendid new book adds to the mounting evidence that the relationship between science and religion has been much more complicated than the military metaphor of an incessant "warfare" allows." Journal of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521000963
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,158,996
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Harrison is Professor of Philosophy at Bond University in Australia. He has published widely in the area of the history of ideas and in particular on philosophy and religion in the early modern period. He is the author of Religion and the Religions in the English Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1990).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Worlds visible and invisible 11
The wisdom of the world 11
The three senses 15
Words and things 28
2 Sensible signs and spoken words 34
The ascendency of the physical 34
The discovery of nature 39
Reading nature: the whole and the parts 44
Restoring lost likenesses 56
3 The two reformations 64
Aristotle and the encyclopaedias 64
Texts and the empirical world 78
New worlds 82
Corrupt texts and reformed religion 92
The literal sense and the material world 107
4 Re-reading the two books 121
Genesis and history 121
Modifications of the literal: typology and accommodation 129
The cosmology of Moses 138
The science of the last things 147
5 The purpose of nature 161
The ends of the creation 161
Divine designs and human utilities 169
The centre of the universe 177
The natural world and the moral order 185
God and the book of nature 193
6 Eden restored 205
Paradise within 205
The fall 211
The deluge and confusion of tongues 222
Reversing the curse 226
Replanting the garden 235
Learning the language of nature 249
Conclusion 266
References 274
Index 306
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