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The Two Books And Adamic Knowledge: Reading The Book Of Nature And Early Modern Strategies For Repairing The Effects Of The Fall And Of Babel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys and summarizes some alternative answers, noting in particular ways in which contemporaries understood the relationship between the book of nature, divine knowledge, mortal human minds, and salvation. The losses experienced by Adam and Eve and their progeny?losses resulting from the Fall and, later, from the confusion of tongues meted out to humans as punishment for prideful construction of the Tower of Babel?were the subject of frequent commentary and reformist schemes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The chapter explores the import of still other convictions and assumptions relating to the question of what happened to the Adamic language and Adamic knowledge. Conventionally, the emergence of modernity and the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century have been underwritten by the turn from the symbolic to the literal.

Keywords: Adamic knowledge; Adamic language; book of nature; divine knowledge; modern science; Tower of Babel



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