Tracing the rise of science from its birth in the medieval West through the scientific revolution, the contributors describe major shifts that were marked by discoveries such as those of Copernicus, Galileo, and Isaac Newton and the Catholic and Protestant reactions to them. They assess changes in scientific understanding brought about by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century transformations in geology, cosmology, and biology, together with the responses of both mainstream religious groups and such newer movements as evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The book also treats the theological implications of contemporary science and evaluates recent approaches such as environmentalism, gender studies, social construction, and postmodernism, which are at the center of current debates in the historiography, understanding, and application of science.
Contributors: Colin A. Russell, David B. Wilson, Edward Grant, David C. Lindberg, Alnoor Dhanani, Owen Gingerich, Richard J. Blackwell, Edward B. Davis, Michael P. Winship, John Henry, Margaret J. Osler, Richard S. Westfall, John Hedley Brooke, Nicolaas A. Rupke, Peter M. Hess, James Moore, Peter J. Bowler, Ronald L. Numbers, Steven J. Harris, Mark A. Noll, Edward J. Larson, Richard Olson, Craig Sean McConnell, Robin Collins, William A. Dembski, David N. Livingstone, Sara Miles, and Stephen P. Weldon.-- Fraser F. Fleming
In this fresh study of the complicated origins of revolutionary science in the age of Bacon, Hobbes, and Boyle, Martin traces one of the most important developments in Western European history: the rise and fall of Aristotelianism from the eleventh to the eighteenth century.
Medieval theologians reconciled Aristotelian natural philosophy with Christian dogma in a synthesis that dominated religious thought for centuries. This synthesis unraveled in the seventeenth century contemporaneously with the emergence of the new natural philosophies of the scientific revolution. Important figures of seventeenth-century thought strove to show that the medieval appropriation of Aristotle defied the historical record that pointed to an impious figure of dubious morality.
While numerous scholars have written on the seventeenth-century downfall of Aristotelianism, almost all of those works have examined how the conceptual content of the new sciences—such as the heliocentric cosmology, atomism, mechanical and mathematical models, and experimentalism—were used to dismiss the views of Aristotle. Subverting Aristotle is the first to focus on the religious polemics accompanying the scientific controversies that led to the eventual demise of Aristotelian natural philosophy.
Martin’s thesis draws extensively on primary source material from England, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. It alters present perceptions not only of the scientific revolution but also of the role of Renaissance humanism in the forging of modernity.-- John Monfasani, University at Albany, The State University of New York