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Lex naturae and ordo naturae in the thought of Philip Melanchthon

Methuen, C. (2000) Lex naturae and ordo naturae in the thought of Philip Melanchthon. Reformation and Renaissance Review, 3 . pp. 110-125. ISSN 1462-2459

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Publisher's URL: http://www.equinoxjournals.com/RRR/article/view/1255

Abstract

Modern discussions of the relationship between science and theology demonstrate increasing interest in investigating the ways in which the emerging natural sciences, rooted as they were in an intellectual culture which was dominated by theological concerns, found their roots in and were not only hindered but stimulated by (Protestant) theology. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to the ways in which humanist principles of biblical interpretation, and the focus upon studying the original text, gave rise to an impulse to more precise observation of the natural world. But the impulse to study the natural world drew also upon philosophical and theological assumptions made about the structure of the natural world. In particular, certain formulations of the doctrine of providence, with its assumption that God both created and sustained the world for the good of its human inhabitants, could provide an impulse towards the study of the natural world. A closer investigation of the theology underlying these theories is interesting, not only for the light it sheds upon the role of theology in encouraging the study of the natural world, but for its indication of the degree of continuity between some areas of Reformation theology and their scholastic forebears. The theology of the 'Lutheran scholastic', Philip Melanchthon, is particularly interesting in this respect.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Methuen, Dr Charlotte
Authors: Methuen, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Journal Name:Reformation and Renaissance Review
Publisher:Equinox Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:1462-2459

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