Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,263 words)

1. Definition

Physicotheology (from Greek physikós, “pertaining to nature”; as a substantive: “naturalist”) was a variant of natural theology, especially influential in the 18th century, which sought to prove the existence and goodness of the Creator God through observation and delineation of  well-ordered nature or individual creatures.

2. Proof of God

Even in Greco-Roman antiquity, the…

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Biehler, Birgit, “Physicotheology”, 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 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025556>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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