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(3,834 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich | Pulte, Helmut | Gierl, Martin
1. Theology and philosophy 1.1. To 1700Between the 14th and 17th centuries, space changed from a finite, articulated construct to an infinite, uniform, and rational construct. In the cosmology of Plato and Aristotle, spherical closure was an expression of the perfection of the cosmos, but ever since Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th century and Giordano Bruno in the 16th century, unlimited or infinite space was considered a perfect image or emanation of the infinity of God [11]. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, space was the passive principle, accommodating forms and m…
Date: 2022-08-17

Heliocentric model

(1,359 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich
1. Concept The heliocentric model is based on two theories: (1) that the daily rotation of the heavens is only apparent, and is in fact produced by the rotation of the Earth, and (2) that the Earth is only one of the planets, and is orbiting the Sun like the others. Introduced in modern times by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 [1], the heliocentric model gradually prevailed through the work of Johannes Kepler [8], Galileo Galilei [4], Isaac Newton [10] and Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1796) [9] against the geocentric model. The conditions for this came about in the epochal s…
Date: 2019-10-14

Theology and science

(2,925 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich
1. Basic issues The medieval unity of the Christian doctrine of creation and Aristotelian cosmology, physics, and metaphysics found visible expression in the geocentric model of the cosmos and the interpretation of the biblical six days of creation (hexaemeron) as a theory of the origin of the world. This unity was beginning to crumble, however, in the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the early modern period. The assertions of radical Aristotelians that the world is eternal, that th…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,139 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich
1. To 1600The early modern period inherited the doctrine of providence (Latin  providentia) from the philosophical and theological tradition of Christian antiquity. It states that the course of the cosmos, nature, and history is determined neither by blind chance (the “Epicurean” theory) nor by an inevitable fate (the “Stoic” theory) but by the targeted, purposeful, rational, and provident action of God. At the beginning of the early modern period, various implementations of the general conviction that God …
Date: 2021-03-15

World view

(4,273 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
1. DefinitionThe term world view was coined in the Middle Ages as a translation of Latin  forma ideaque mundi (form and idea of the world) or  imago mundi (image of the world), but it remained marginal in the early modern period. Other terms were used or introduced for the coherent totality of the manifold phenomena of the world: in scientific contexts, people spoke of physics, natural philosophy, or  cosmologia generalis (general theory of the world, 1731; Christian Wolff), in pedagogical contexts of  orbis sensualium pictus (“Sensible World Painted,” 1658; in German edit…
Date: 2023-11-14

Geocentric model

(1,552 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich
1. Introduction The replacement of the geocentric with the heliocentric model was not a “Scientific Revolution” (Kant), but a slow and hesitant process of alteration and assimilation that began with Nicolaus Copernicus [7]; [20] and continued with Isaac Newton and Pierre-Simon de Laplace (cf. Copernican Revolution). By 1600, there were a handful of Copernicans (Rheticus, Michael Maestlin, Johannes Kepler, Galileo). By the end of the 17th century the geocentric model was being discussed as equally astronomically valid. Only …
Date: 2019-10-14

Natural science and religion

(2,463 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich
1. Introduction Natural science and the Christian religion generally coexisted productively in the European early modern period, until the advent of mechanism and materialism in the 18th and 19th centuries, which brought them in some respects into opposition.The notion that early modern natural history had emerged from a secularization of nature and an emancipation of nature study from Christianity, and indeed that it represented an act of human self-assertion against the authority of an omnipotent God and his church [5. 22 f., 135, 229–233], requires some revision.…
Date: 2020-04-06