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The Emergence of a Scientific CultureScience and the Shaping of Modernity 1210-1685$
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Stephen Gaukroger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296446.001.0001

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The Interpretation of Nature and the Origins of Physico‐Theology

The Interpretation of Nature and the Origins of Physico‐Theology

Chapter:
(p.129) 4 The Interpretation of Nature and the Origins of Physico‐Theology
Source:
The Emergence of a Scientific Culture
Author(s):

Stephen Gaukroger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296446.003.0005

There was always a lack of fit between natural philosophy and natural history in the Aristotelian tradition, and the latter was better adapted to the Christian idea of the universe as something created. The natural history tradition was marginalized with the introduction of Aristotelianism in the 13th century, but it continued to play a role in conceiving of nature as a text to be read in a similar way to that in which revelation was read. Developments in biblical and legal philology in the 16th century transformed the model on which natural history was based, and as a result, it ceased to be allegorical and became literal. By the 17th century, it had begun to provide a new kind of religious reading of nature.

Keywords:   biblical philology, legal philology, Christianity, natural history, natural philosophy, religious reading of nature

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