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The Hermeneutics Of Nature And Scripture In Early Modern Science And Theology

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Chapter Summary

A comprehensive history of biblical hermeneutics with respect to nature between ca. 1500 and 1700 is still to be written. This chapter illustrates the diverse uses of the Bible in a natural-philosophical context. It suggests that the hermeneutical variety and to some extent confusion, may be due to a deeply felt need for a new natural philosophy which of course had to be consonant with Genesis. The revolution in astronomy that occurred over two centuries lay precisely in a move from this bifurcated view to one where mathematical and physical reality were seen as united. The diversity and complexity of the exegetical arguments evident in the primary sources has convinced me that this analysis is too superficial. Historians of hermeneutics would like to know how interpretation has changed or not changed over the roughly two thousand years of interpretation since the formation of the Christian Bible.

Keywords: astronomy; Bible; Christian Bible; Genesis; hermeneutics; natural philosophy



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