The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 26, 2001 - Religion - 313 pages
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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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Contents

Worlds visible and invisible
11
THE THREE SENSES
15
WORDS AND THINGS
28
Sensible signs and spoken words
34
THE DISCOVERY OF NATURE
39
THE WHOLE AND THE PARTS
44
RESTORING LOST LIKENESSES
56
The two reformations
64
The purpose of nature
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
Eden restored
205
THE FALL
211
THE DELUGE AND CONFUSION OF TONGUES
222

TEXTS AND THE EMPIRICAL WORLD
78
NEW WORLDS
82
CORRUPT TEXTS AND REFORMED RELIGION
92
THE LITERAL SENSE AND THE MATERIAL WORLD
107
Rereading the two books
121
TYPOLOGY AND ACCOMMODATION
129
THE COSMOLOGY OF MOSES
138
THE SCIENCE OF THE LAST THINGS
147
REVERSING THE CURSE
226
REPLANTING THE GARDEN
235
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF NATURE
249
Conclusion
266
References
274
Index
306
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Page 1 - Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics...

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About the author (2001)

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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