Re-enchanting the Universe: Evangelicals and the Rise of Science
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This evening lecture with Bruce Hindmarsh on October 16 is part of our Fall 2018 Interface Faith and Science Lecture Series.
"Re-enchanting the Universe: Evangelicals and the Rise of Science"
The popular idea that Christianity and Science have always been fundamentally in conflict dissolves upon closer historical examination. This is true even for popular Protestant spirituality. The significant evangelical spiritual awakening in the North Atlantic that appeared in the eighteenth century took place among those who were the first generation to accept the basic postulates of Isaac Newton and to embrace the new science. The world of nature was now neither possessed of a transcendent spiritual form (Plato) nor an immanent spiritual form (Aristotle), so how was one to understand the relation of things spiritual and things material? A number of the early evangelicals engaged with this question in a sophisticated way. Jonathan Edwards was a young undergraduate at Yale when Newton’s Principia and Opticks were first taken out of their wooden crates and added to the college library collection, and he studied these works exhaustively. So also John Wesley produced one of the most comprehensive compendia of the period of the latest findings of science. To these can be added a number of other figures over the course of the century—devout poets, artists, practicing scientists, and theologians who responded to the rise of science with “wonder, love, and praise."
This lecture is free of charge.
Bruce Hindmarsh took his DPhil degree at Oxford University in 1993. From 1995 to 1997, he was also a research fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. He has since published and spoken widely to international audiences on the history of early British evangelicalism. His articles have appeared in respected academic journals, and he is the author of three major books: John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1996), The Evangelical Conversion Narrative (Oxford University Press, 2005, and The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2018). Bruce has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, research grants and fellowships. He has also been a Mayers Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and a holder of the Henry Luce III Theological Fellowship. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is a past-president of the American Society of Church History. He is also an active member of the Anglican Church.
This lecture series is supported by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
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