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The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science Peter Harrison. The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science. Allegory and the ‘Two Books’ Allegory in Practice Reforming the Reading of Scripture Reinterpreting the Book of Nature.

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the bible and the emergence of modern science

The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science

Allegory and the ‘Two Books’Allegory in PracticeReforming the Reading of ScriptureReinterpreting the Book of Nature

slide4

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.

Romans 1:20

slide5

I think that He who made all things in wisdom so created all the species of visible things upon the earth, that He placed in some of them some teaching and knowledge of things invisible and heavenly, whereby the human mind might mount to spiritual understanding and seek the grounds of things in heaven.

Commentary on the Song of Songs

Origen (c185-c254)

slide6

What man of intelligence will believe that the first and the second and third day and the evening and the morning existed without the sun and moon and stars….

One must therefore record the meaning of the sacred writings in a three-fold way….

De Principiis

Origen (c185-c254)

slide7

Augustine

(354-430)

slide8

Levels of InterpretationLiteral Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT

slide9

Levels of InterpretationLiteral Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT

slide10

‘Book of Scripture’ ‘Book of Nature’Literal Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT

slide11

‘The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only … but also by things themselves…. The multiplicity of these senses does not produce equivocation or any other kind of multiplicity, seeing that these senses are not multiplied because one word signifies several things, but because the things signified by the words can be themselves types of other things.’ Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1a. 1, 10

slide12

For the whole sensible world is like a kind of book written by the finger of God—that is, created by divine power—and each particular creature is somewhat like a figure, not invented by human decision, but instituted by the divine will to manifest the invisible things of God’s wisdom.

Hugh of St Victor (d.1142)

De tribus diebus

slide13

‘The creature of the world is like a book in which the creative Trinity is reflected, represented, and written’. Bonaventure, Breviloquium II.12.

Bonaventure

(1217-74)

the bible and the emergence of modern science14

The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science

Allegory and the ‘Two Books’Allegory in PracticeReforming the Reading of ScriptureReinterpreting the Book of Nature

slide15

The Quadriga: Four-fold interpretationLiteral Sense - historical or grammatical meaningTropological Sense - the moral application of the narrativeAnagogical Sense - the spiritual or theological meaningAllegorical Sense - the meaning of the objects referred to by the literal words

slide16

The Quadriga: Four-fold interpretationLiteral Sense - historical or grammatical meaningTropological Sense - the moral application of the narrativeAnagogical Sense - the spiritual or theological meaningAllegorical Sense - the meaning of the objects referred to by the literal words

slide19

Adoro Te Devote

Pie Pellicane, Jesu Domine,

Me immundum munda Tuo sanguine

Loving Pelican, Oh Jesus Lord

Unclean am I but cleanse me in Thy blood.

Thomas Aquinas

literal allegorical object word object object object
Literal Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT
slide22

Literal Allegorical OBJECTChristWORD OBJECT OBJECT‘Pelican’Pelican Egypt OBJECTThe World

the bible and the emergence of modern science23

The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science

Allegory and the ‘Two Books’Allegory in PracticeReforming the Reading of ScriptureReinterpreting the Book of Nature

slide24

‘[The literal sense] is the highest, best, strongest, in short the whole substance, nature and foundation of the holy scripture.’

Luther, Answer to the Hyperchristian Book, Works 39, 177.

slide25

Scripture, they say, is fertile and thus bears multiple meanings…

But I deny that its fertility consists in the various meanings which anyone may fasten to it at his pleasure. Let us know, then, that the true meaning of Scripture is the natural and simple one….

John Calvin, Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles.

slide26

Book of Scripture Book of NatureLiteral Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT

slide27

Book of Scripture Book of NatureLiteral Allegorical OBJECTWORD OBJECT OBJECT OBJECT

?

slide28

‘Scripture without any glosses is the sun and the whole light from which all teachers receive their light, and not vice versa.’

Luther, Answer to a Hyperchristian Book.

Glossa ordinaria(Venice, 1484)

the bible and the emergence of modern science29

The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science

Allegory and the ‘Two Books’Allegory in PracticeReforming the Reading of ScriptureReinterpreting the Book of Nature

slide30

‘[There are] two books or volumes to study, if we will be secured from error; first the scriptures, revealing the will of God, and then the creatures expressing his power; whereof the latter is a key unto the former.’ Advancement of LearningI.vi.16.

Francis Bacon

(1561-1626)

slide31

‘Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it.’

Galileo Galilei

The Assayer

slide32

‘… for as (such is God’s condescension to human weakness) most of the texts, to whose exposition physiology is necessary, may be explicated by the knowledge of the external, or at least more easily observed qualities of the creatures; so, there are divers not to be fully understood without the assistance of more penetrating indagations of the abstrusities of nature, and the more unobvious properties of things, an intelligent and philosophical peruser will readily discern.’

Robert Boyle (1627-1691)

Usefulness of Natural Philosophy

slide33

‘[We have] wholly omitted what we find in other authors concerning homonymous and synonymous words, or the divers names of birds, hieroglyphics, emblems, morals, fables, presages, or ought else pertaining to divinity, ethics, grammar, or any sort of humane learning.’

Ray and Willughby, Ornithology (1678)

John Ray (1627-1705)

slide34

‘Necessary for all divines and students because the story of every beast is amplified with narrations out of scriptures, fathers, phylosophers, physicians, and poets: wherein are declared divers hyeroglyphicks, emblems, epigrams, and other good histories.

Edward Topsell (1607, 1653).

slide35

‘Lamia’

      • Do not all charms fly
      • At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
      • There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
      • We know her woof, her texture; she is given
      • In the dull catalogue of common things.
      • Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
      • Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
      • Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine -
      • Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
      • The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.
  • John Keats (1795-1821)
slide36

Lamia

from Topsell, Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607)