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Kepler And Melanchthon On The Biblical Arguments Against Copernicanism

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Chapter Summary

Why did Johannes Kepler contradict Philip Melanchthon on the biblical arguments against Copernicanism? Kepler was a second generation student of the great Lutheran educational reformer and in many ways a faithful follower in matters of religion and natural philosophy. This chapter explains why Kepler felt able to contradict Melanchthon by showing how he made novel use of central Melanchthonian ideas: natural law with its ideal of demonstrative proof, the status of astronomy as the clearest example of these laws, and above all, the conviction that these laws governed a cosmos that had been constructed according to a providential plan. Kepler?s examination of the Bible passages used by Melanchthon and Peucer forms part of the front matter for the Astronomia Nova published in 1609.

Keywords: Astronomia Nova ; astronomy; biblical arguments; Copernicanism; Johannes Kepler; Lutheran; Peucer; Philip Melanchthon



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