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The Rise of Modern Science and the Decline of Theology as the 'Queen of Sciences' in the Early Modern Era

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The Rise of Modern Science and the Decline of Theology as the 'Queen of Sciences' in the Early Modern Era
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  [RRR 9.2 (2007) 125–151] RRR (pin) ISSN 1462-2459 doi:10.1558/rrr.v9i2.125 RRR (online) ISSN 1743-1727 © Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2009, Unit 6, Te Village, 101 Amies Street, London SW11 2JW  Te Rise o Modern Science and the Decline o Teology as the ‘Queen o Sciences’ in the Early Modern Era  Avihu Zki Hebrew University o Jerusalem vihuzki@gmil.om  Abstract Te ely moden peiod wineed n impon nomion in heChiin diion o deemining who hd he uhoiy o pek onue nd o ed he Deiy’ mind in nue. Ti poound hnge w inexile om he ie o moden iene. Ti ey will gueh he developmen o moden ieni eoning w peondiionedlgely y he dehoning o heology om i u  he queen o iene, wih eeene o he wok o Niol Copeniu, John-ne Keple, nd Glileo Glilei. Impelled y he gowing diepny eween hei new onomil dioveie nd diionl holiphiloophil hough, hey developed new onepion nd e-denedhei elion o heology. o elih he iene o onomy on new oundion, hey gued h Sipue w no inended o deiehe phenomen o he wold; hene heology hd no uine einghe mei o onomil gumen. Tee pionee eued o odny pioiy o heology in explining nd inepeing he phenomeno onomy. Tey eed h onomy w no  ‘hndmiden oheology’ he n uhoiive men o peking o nue. Tey lldmied h in elion o divine hing, heology w indeed upeioo ll ohe iene in explining humn lvion nd edempion. Onnul phenomen, howeve, i onvenionl ole w no longe euein he e o onomil dioveie. Teology onen nendeniue, iene mundne one; he  del wih lvion nd he e-ond wih he woking o nue.  126   Reormation & Renaissance Review  © Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2009  Who ould pek o nue? Who h he uhoiy o unveil i ee? And who, evenully, h he legiimy o inepe i? Unil he ely mod-en peiod he nwe o hee queion w le—heology. Sine heBile w umed o e he ole o God,  ook in whih he Holy Ghoeveled he Deiy’ inenion in, nd knowledge o eion, pioiy wulimely given o heologil dimenion in explining nul phenomen.I w eped h ‘God’ hd uhoed wo ‘ook,’ Sipue nd Nue( libri naturales  ); hene hi voie  eveled in oh hould e inepeed y he Chuh, peking hough i legy nd heologin. Duing he Middle Age, heeoe, heology w oded he ile o he ‘Queen o Siene’( Regina scientiarum ), nd ‘nul philoophy,’ o iene, w dened ‘hndmiden o heology’ (  philosophia ancilla theologiae  ). Te view oninuedo e epeened y Chiin Renine Humnim gue like Emu, who emked h ‘Teology i ighly he queen o iene.’ 1 Te ely moden peiod, howeve, wineed n impon nomionin he long elihed Chiin diion onening who ould pek onue nd who w enued o ed he Deiy’ mind in nue, nd hipoound hnge w inexile om he ie o moden iene. In hiey, ‘Wh i Enlighenmen?’ (1784), Immnuel   Kn (1724–1804) woe:‘ Enlightenment is mankind’s exit rom its sel-incurred immaturity. Immaturity   i he iniliy o mke ue o one’ own undending wihou he guidneo nohe.’ 2 In he me vein o gumen one n y h moden ienihough emeged wih i elee om he diionl uelge o heology.O, onveely, in he od oue o he hioy o ide, he developmeno moden ieni eoning w peondiioned o  lge exen on hedehoning o heology om i ple  he queen o iene. Ti i how Immnuel Kn dened hi impon nomion: Tee w ime when mephyi w lled he ‘queen’ o ll he iene,nd i he will e ken o he deed, i deeved hi ile o hono, on -oun o he peeminen impone o i uje. Now, in odne wihhe hion o he ge, he queen pove depied on ll ide; nd he mon,ou nd oken, moun like Heu: ‘ Greatest o all by race and birth, I now am cast out, powerless  ’ (Ovid,  Metamorphoses  , 13:508–510) 3   1.  Adagia IV, V, 1, in Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami opera omnia, ed. Jen Lele (Leiden,1703–1706), vol. 2, 1053F.2. Immnuel Kn, ‘Wh i Enlighenmen?’ in What is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Answers and wentieth-Century Questions  , ed. Jme Shmid (Bekeley: Uni-veiy o Clioni Pe, 1996), 58. Emphi in oiginl.3. Immnuel Kn, Critique o Pure Reason , n. P. Guye nd A.W. Wood (Cm-  Te Rise o Modern Science and the Decline o Teology  127 © Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2009 Duing he ixeenh nd eveneenh enuie  new onende ppeed who limed o hve uhoiy nd legiimy o pek o nue–iene.Ti n e een in he wok o hee oeunne o moden ieni hough—Niol Copeniu (1473–1543), Johnne Keple (1571–1630), ndGlileo Glilei (1564–1642). Impelled y he gowing diepny eweenhei new onomil dioveie nd diionl holi philoophilhough, hey developed new ieni onepion nd e-dened hei el-ion o heology. Moe peilly, o elih he iene o onomy onnew oundion, hey gued h Sipue w no inended o deiehe phenomen o he wold; hene heology hd no uine eing hemei o onomil gumen, uh  Copeniu’ helioeni yem.Tee pionee o moden iene eued o od ny pioiy o heologi-l onideion in explining nd inepeing he phenomen o ono-my. Tey eed h he iene o onomy hould no e onued  ‘hndmiden o heology’ u he  poeing uhoiy o pek onue. Tey ll dmied h    divine hing wee onened, heol-ogy w indeed upeio o ll ohe iene in explining humn lvionnd edempion, ye  egd nul phenomen, i diionl ole wno longe eue in he e o onomil dioveie. Teology onennenden iue, iene mundne one, he  del wih lvion ndhe eond wih he explnion o nue.Ti ie o iene w gely inewined wih Renine philoophy nd he Poen Reomion. Renine philoophy eeed o he‘philoophil iviy wihin he e in whih Lin w ued   ulullnguge om he ge o Okhm o he eviiony wok o Bon, De-e nd hei onempoie.’ 4 One o i hllmk w ‘n eleednd enlged inee, imuled y newly ville ex, in pimy oueo Geek nd Romn hough h wee peviouly unknown o pilly known o lile ed.’ 5 Along wih hi eoion o lening nd hol-hip, o h ge elong he invenion o pining, he diovey o he New  Wold, he Poen nd Choli Reomion, nd he ‘new’ philoophy o nue, o he ie o moden iene. Te new onomy o Copeni-u, Keple nd Glileo w p o Renine philoophy, whih ‘w  idge: Cmidge Univeiy Pe, 1998), 99.4. Chle B. Shmi nd Quenin Skinne, ‘Inoduion,’ in Te Cambridge History o Renaissance Philosophy  , ed. Chle B. Shmi nd Quenin Skinne (Cmidge:Cmidge Univeiy Pe, 1988), 5.5. Bin P. Copenhve nd Chle B. Shmi, Renaissance Philosophy  (Oxod: OxodUniveiy Pe, 1992), 4.  128   Reormation & Renaissance Review  © Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2009 nume o “new” philoophie— “new” in he ene o “non-Aioelin”’h ‘hllenged holi’ nd ‘Chiin ohodoxy.’ 6 Te gol o Reni-ne philoophe—uh  Nihol o Cu (1401–1464), he ‘ “new philoophe” o he Renine,’ Miglio Fiino (1433–1499), Pio dellMindol (1463–1494), nd ohe—w o nom holi diioninheied om he Middle Age nd o ume powe ove nue. Ti wn impon heii o he Renine   whole nd  peondiiono he emegene o he new iene in he ely moden peiod in piu-l. Fo exmple, he new expeimenl ehnique o lhemy—he ‘lk ’—h oe in he le Renine w ed on he view h ‘God wmnieed no only in he heven u lo in he whole o he ehly el-iy.’ Hene ‘i w poile o diove he divine wihin he meil.’ 7 No wonde h ‘heologin’ ued he ‘new philoophie’ o ‘wning o mkephiloophy he ivl he hn he hndmid o heology.’ 8  Te Poen Reomion lo oniued o he ie o iene wihi onep o God’ dil oveeigny, o he view h ‘God’ oveeigny exluded he ive oniuion o lee eing o hi wok.’ Duing heMiddle Age, Tom Aquin (1224–1274) podued  mjei ynhe-i o Aioelin nul philoophy nd Chiin heology y inepeing‘Aiole’ piniple inheen in nue  powe inilled hee y God, whih God ued in hi povidenil wok.’ Aodingly, ‘God cooperated  wihnul powe in  wy h epeed hei inegiy while omplihinghi pupoe.’ Unlike hi medievl heoy o oopeion, nd gin heGeo-Romn Deus sive natura wold-view ( omuled y Spinoz), ‘heReomion elieved h n deque undending o oveeigny nee-ied he exluion o ny oniuion o divine povidene om humneing o nue.’ o poe heeoe he gloy o God nd voiding mkinghe God’ ion oningen on he ion o eed eing, ‘he eom-e med he onep o dil oveeigny gin he medievl view o ommoding oveeigny, o oopeion.’ 9 Ti w eenil o hedevelopmen o expeimenl iene: ‘he wold hd o eome demytholo- 6. Jme Hnkin, ‘Inoduion,’ in Te Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philoso- phy  , ed. Jme Hnkin (Cmidge: Cmidge Univeiy Pe, 2007), 5.7. Hold P. Neelik, Te Renaissance, Te Reormation and the Rise o Science  (Edin-ugh: & Clk, 1992), 134.8. Hnkin, ‘Inoduion,’ 6.9. Gy B. Deon, ‘Reomion heology nd he Mehnii Conepion o Nue,’in God & Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science  ,ed. Dvid C. Lindeg nd Ronld L. Nume (Bekeley: Univeiy o ClioniPe, 1986), 169–170.  Te Rise o Modern Science and the Decline o Teology  129 © Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2009  gized  o disenchanted  o i “immnen diviniy.”’ Reomed hough hudepived nue o inini powe nd pupoe p om he hnd o God, nd onequenly ‘med nue o [ieni] inveigion.’ 10   Regina Scientiarum —Teology as the ‘Queen of Sciences’  A ed, in he medievl holi wold, heology w dened  he‘Queen o Siene’ nd iene  ‘hndmiden o heology.’ Te nul i-ene nd philoophy wee hu igned  uodine nd evile ole. Tey hd he pivilege o eing employed in he deene o eveled uh, povid-ing uppo nd id in hieving oeiologil undending. Te eveled,undemoned uh o ih hu hd pioiy ove demoned uh o eon. In Chiin heology evelion i upeio o ll om o knowledge,ine in he udy o lvion—oeiology—edempion i pimily houghChi, ih nd ge, nd no hough eon. Te ie o moden ieneduing he ixeenh nd eveneenh enuie o  lge exen igniedejeion o hi diionl holi view y exling eon in ppohing wold phenomen. In hi ‘Ode Dedied o I Newon’ (1687), Newon’iend, he onome Edmund Hlley (1656–1742), woe: ‘In eon’ligh, he loud o ignone / Dipelled  l y iene.’ 11 Roge Coe(1682–1716), Fellow o iniy College Cmidge nd Plumin Poeo o  Aonomy nd Expeimenl Philoophy, woe in hi ‘Pee’ o he eondediion o Newon’ Principia in 1713 h ined o heologil uion‘hi mo exellen mehod o philoophy,’ nmely expeimenl, mehnilphiloophy ‘i ounded on expeimen nd oevion.’ 12  Te ‘hndmiden view’ i oigined wih Auguine, who ‘eped Geek philoophy   ueul, i no peely elile, inumen. Philoophy, in Auguine’ inuenil view, w o e he hndmiden o eligion—no o emped ou, u o e ulived, diiplined, nd pu o ue.’ 13   I hoe who e lled philoophe, piully he Ploni, hve idnyhing whih i ue nd onien wih ou ih, we mu no eje i, 10. Neelik, Te Renaissance, Te Reormation and the Rise o Science  , 149, xix.11. Edmund Hlley, ‘Ode Dedied o Newon’, in Sir Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles o Natural Philosophy and His System o the World  , ed. Floin Cjoi, 2 vol.(Bekeley: Univeiy o Clioni Pe, 1934), I, xiv.12. Roge Coe, ‘Coe’ Pee o he Seond Ediion,’ in Sir Isaac Newton’s Mathemati-cal Principles o Natural Philosophy and His System o the World  , I, xxxii.13. Dvid C. Lindeg, Te Beginnings o Western Science: Te European Scientifc radi-tion in the Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450   (Chigo: Univeiy o Chigo Pe, 1992), 150.
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