This book examines the genesis of Lutheran interest in natural philosophical issues by focusing on the reform of natural philosophy initiated by Philip Melanchthon. It suggests that Melanchthon transformed traditional natural philosophy into a specifically Lutheran one in an effort to refute civil disobedience and promote Luther's cause. It argues that an approach to natural philosophy by a dichotomy of "science" vs. "religion" is hazardous: natural philosophy should be understood as a study of nature, understood as God's creation, undertaken for Christian purposes.
Table of ContentsList of illustrations; Notes on the text; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The way of the schoolmen; 2. Law and Gospel: the reforms of Luther and Melanchthon; 1. Luther's reform - establishing the message of the Gospel; 2. Melanchthon's reform - law and philosophy; 3. The soul; 4. The Providence of God; 5. The construction of orthodoxy; Conclusion: a transformation of natural philosophy; Bibliography; Index.