Thesis ID: CBB001560679

Roger Bacon's Faith in Science (2008)


La Turner, Hyrum (Author)

University of Chicago
Maggi, Armando

Publication Date: 2008
Edition Details: Advisor: Maggi, Armando
Physical Details: 269 pp.
Language: English

Over the almost eight hundred years since Bacon's birth, historians of science have consistently argued for his special place in the development of modern science. They call attention to his claim that mathematics must be used to study nature, and his efforts to experiment. However, relatively little has been done to determine the debts between Bacon's science and his Christian faith. This dissertation argues Bacon's science is inseparable from his religion. I show how his views on natural force and the value of mathematics are intertwined with his interest in alchemy and astrology. These, in turn, are part of a larger commitment to the revealed truths of Christianity. I show how Bacon's theory of natural force, which came to be known as "species multiplication," not only provided him with a powerful explanatory narrative for such disparate phenomena as vision, contagion, and rising tides, but was also his primary theory for both an understanding of salvation, and for the reformation of the Christian church. I show how Bacon's scientific ideas were deeply intertwined with his religious beliefs, noticeable particularly in his claims to harness the power of faith for the conversion of non-Christians and conquering the Holy Land. These miracles could be accomplished through the diligent application of the theory maintained in "species multiplication." However, such powers paled in comparison to this science's worth in understanding salvation. For "species multiplication" grounded Bacon's enthusiasm for the doctrine of transubstantiation, and provided him with an explanation of the great mystery of the Lord's presence. Ultimately, I argue, the most impressive features of Bacon's science both grow out of, and return to, his faith.


Description “Argues Bacon's science is inseparable from his religion.” (from the abstract) Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 69/04 (2008). Pub. no. AAT 3309070.

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Authors & Contributors
Singham, Mano
Weijers, Ido
Tonkens, E.
Katasonov, V. N.
Gierer, Alfred
McGrath, Alister E.
Social History of Medicine
Voprosy filosofii
MHNH (Revista Internacional de Investigación sobre Magia y Astrología Antiguas)
Culture and Cosmos
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation
Königshausen & Neumann
Maison des sciences de l'homme
Hodder Arnold
B. Kühlen
Science and religion
Religious beliefs
Philosophy of science
Bacon, Roger
Grosseteste, Robert
Duhem, Pierre
Cusanus, Nicolaus
Augustine, Saint
Duns Scotus, Johannes
19th century
13th century
15th century
Early modern

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