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Interpreting The Books Of Nature And Scripture In Medieval And Early Modern Thought: An Introductory Essay

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the relationship between interpretations of nature and of Scripture during the high medieval and early modern periods, that is from the twelfth century until the dawn of the seventeenth. It argues that this relationship must be seen as one expression of the more fundamental relationship between knowledge of God and knowledge of the world, and of the shifting understanding of how faith might be informed by reason, or theology by philosophy. Scholasticism was the method of thinking and structuring knowledge which governed most academic thought from the mid-eleventh century until into the sixteenth. It will already be apparent that the contribution of Aristotelian philosophy was of particular importance in articulating knowledge about God and determining possible approaches to nature. Biblical humanism applied humanist methods to Scripture.

Keywords: Aristotelian philosophy; Biblical humanism; early modern periods; scholasticism; Scripture



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