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Theology and Mathematics: An Introduction

Theology and Mathematics: An Introduction Theology and Science, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2011 JAMES BRADLEY, GUEST EDITOR The two disciplines around which this volume is organized—theology and mathematics—may seem like an unlikely couple. Their concerns appear far apart and the recent professional interaction between theologians and mathematicians has been small. But it has not always been this way. For example, in the fifth century, in his De Libero Arbitrio, Augustine wrote quite thoughtfully about the philosophy of mathematics. Leading seventeenth-century scientists such as Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Leibniz were deeply interested in theological issues. Newton saw the goal of his Principia Mathematica as explaining God’s work in the physical universe. What has happened? Since roughly the middle of the eighteenth century, mathematics has undergone a process of secularization different from that of the natural sciences. That is, a strong thread of interest in the relationship between theology and science stayed alive throughout the Enlightenment and has continued till the present. However, for reasons that are not well understood, mathematicians who were interested in the theological significance of their work have been largely isolated and without serious influence on their discipline. Thus a similar thread did not emerge in mathematics. Nevertheless, questions that have the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theology and Science Taylor & Francis

Theology and Mathematics: An Introduction

Theology and Science , Volume 9 (1): 3 – Feb 1, 2011
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1474-6719
eISSN
1474-6700
DOI
10.1080/14746700.2011.546998
Publisher site
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Abstract

Theology and Science, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2011 JAMES BRADLEY, GUEST EDITOR The two disciplines around which this volume is organized—theology and mathematics—may seem like an unlikely couple. Their concerns appear far apart and the recent professional interaction between theologians and mathematicians has been small. But it has not always been this way. For example, in the fifth century, in his De Libero Arbitrio, Augustine wrote quite thoughtfully about the philosophy of mathematics. Leading seventeenth-century scientists such as Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Leibniz were deeply interested in theological issues. Newton saw the goal of his Principia Mathematica as explaining God’s work in the physical universe. What has happened? Since roughly the middle of the eighteenth century, mathematics has undergone a process of secularization different from that of the natural sciences. That is, a strong thread of interest in the relationship between theology and science stayed alive throughout the Enlightenment and has continued till the present. However, for reasons that are not well understood, mathematicians who were interested in the theological significance of their work have been largely isolated and without serious influence on their discipline. Thus a similar thread did not emerge in mathematics. Nevertheless, questions that have the

Journal

Theology and ScienceTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 1, 2011

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