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Thomas Burnet, Biblical Idiom, And Seventeenth-Century Theories Of The Earth

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Chapter Summary

In the seventeenth century, a sustained tradition of critical debate emerged about the nature and history of the Earth, a contested print tradition often referred to as ?Theories of the Earth.? Theories of the Earth take their name from the work of the same title by the English scholar Thomas Burnet, first published in 1681 as Telluris Theoria Sacra. The importance of attending to biblical idiom is analogous to that of recognizing the cognitive significance of visual illustrations, a dimension of printed works that has become less neglected in recent decades. Apocalyptic idiom, especially several key phrases found in the second epistle of Peter, provided Burnet with critical conceptual resources for developing and presenting his interpretation of the history of the Earth.

Keywords: Apocalyptic idiom; biblical idiom; Theories of the Earth; Thomas Burnet



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