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Earth, history of
(982 words)

In his commentary on Genesis (1535-1545), Martin Luther touched upon a process of decay of the earth in the context of salvation history. In this view, the growing incidences of erosion and natural catastrophe corresponded with the accumulation of human sin, so that the earth had now become “an aged man” (ein alter greys[1. 619]. Similar views are expounded, echoing the classical topos of the mundus senescens (Latin “ageing world”), in many geogonies (stories of the formation of the earth) and earth histories of the Renaissance, and in many Genesis comm…

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Kempe, Michael, “Earth, history of”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 07 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018873>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626



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