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

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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