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"In The Language Of Men": The Hermeneutics Of Accommodation In The Scientific Revolution

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Chapter Summary

In the early centuries of the common era learned Jews and Christians were not unaware of the intellectual legacy of the Hellenic world. Jewish and Christian responses to Greek thought ranged from vigorous repudiation all the way to enthusiastic appropriation. Already by the first century of the common era, learned Jews such as Philo had begun to argue for the presence of the language of accommodation in the Bible. As in Augustine, Foscarini?s arguments rely not only on accommodationist hermeneutics, but also phenomenalism and the distinction between relative and absolute realities. Galileo was concerned enough to reply to Castelli with a substantive letter answering the suggested scriptural arguments against Copernicanism. The genius of accommodation is that it could be used for Copernicanism as well as for Ptolemaism.

Keywords: Augustine; Bible; Christians; Copernicanism; Galileo; Hellenic world; hermeneutics; Jews



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