Thesis ID: CBB248487197

Cosmic Understanding: Paradigms of Nature in Scientific, Religious, and Philosophical Perspective Part I: The Sacred Science of Creation (2024)


While the history of Western science and philosophy is extremely rich and variegated, it can be analyzed through the framework of the four major paradigms that have guided its development over the centuries: (1) the Greek paradigm of nature, (2) the Christian paradigm of nature, (3) the mechanical paradigm, and (4) what for lack of a better term I call the post-mechanical paradigm, by which I understand the paradigm that emerges from twentieth-century physics in particular, especially the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. This dissertation is devoted to an examination of the second of these paradigms. In it, I examine the theological conception of nature that was prevalent from the first to the sixteenth century. Despite its significance, this subject has often been overlooked in historical analyses, particularly in discussions of the relationship between science and religion. The dissertation addresses this gap by scrutinizing the theological framework within which conceptions of nature were formulated by Christian theologians such as the Fathers, the Schoolmen, and the Reformers. Through an interdisciplinary approach blending theology, history, and philosophy, the study unveils the intricate relationship between theology and the interpretation of nature, highlighting the impact of biblical exegesis and theological norms on the understanding of the natural world.

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Authors & Contributors
Anders, Paul C.
Assmann, Jan
Berry, R. J.
Cantor, Geoffrey N.
Clarke, Peter
Claydon, Tony
Archives of Natural History
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Ethics, Place and Environment
Intellectual History Review
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
AMS Press
Ecclesiastical History Society
Stanford University Press
Natural theology
Science and religion
Philosophy of science
Augustine, Saint
Behe, Michael
Buckland, William
Clarke, Samuel
Erigena, Johannes Scotus
James, William
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
19th century
Early modern
16th century
Great Britain
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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