The Unmaking of the Medieval Christian Cosmos, 1500-1760: From Solid Heavens to Boundless Aether

The Unmaking of the Medieval Christian Cosmos, 1500-1760: From Solid Heavens to Boundless Aether

by W. G. L. Randles
     
 

ISBN-10: 1840146249

ISBN-13: 9781840146240

Pub. Date: 05/01/1999

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited

From the early Christian er and throuout the Middle Ages, theologians exerted considerable effort to achieve a synthesis bringing together Greek cosmology and the Creation story in Genesis. In the constuction of the medieval Empyrean, the dwelling place of the Blessed, Aristotle's philosophy proved of critical importance. From the renaissance on, largely in revolt…  See more details below

Overview

From the early Christian er and throuout the Middle Ages, theologians exerted considerable effort to achieve a synthesis bringing together Greek cosmology and the Creation story in Genesis. In the constuction of the medieval Empyrean, the dwelling place of the Blessed, Aristotle's philosophy proved of critical importance. From the renaissance on, largely in revolt against Aristotle, humanist Bible critics, protestant reformers and astronomers set themselves to challenge the medieval synthesis. Especially effective in the ensuing dismantlement, from the 16th to 18th centuries, was the pagan concept of infinite universe, resuscitated from Antiquity by the italian philosophers Bruno and Patrizi. Indirectly inspired by the latter, the doctrines of the French pre-Enlightenment thinkers Descartes and Gassendi spread throughout Latin Catholic Europe in spite of considerable resistance. By the middle of the 18th century the Roman ecclesiastical authorities were bought to ackowledge an end to the medieval cosmos, allowing its members to teach the theory of heliocentrism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781840146240
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
05/01/1999
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.53(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1The medieval foundations of the Christian cosmos1
2Renaissance and Reformation challenges to the medieval cosmos and the response of the Counter-Reformation32
3The challenge of applied optics58
4The reception of new astronomical evidence80
5The challenge of infinity106
6The Empyrean in the late Renaissance and the Baroque age133
7The cosmos in university textbooks151
8The impact of Cartesianism and Copernicanism and the end of the medieval cosmos183
Conclusion219
Bibliography224
Index263

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