Cambridge Catalog  
  • Your account
  • View basket
  • Help
Home > Catalog > The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science
The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science


  • Page extent: 316 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.64 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 261.5/509
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: BL245 .H355 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Religion and science--History

Library of Congress Record

Add to basket


 (ISBN-13: 9780521875592)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$103.00 (C)

Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.


Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Adam's Encyclopaedia; 2. Augustine revived; 3. Seeking certainty in a fallen world; 4. Dethroning the idols; 5. The instauration of learning; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


‘That pessimistic, otherworldly Protestant theology helped to produce optimistic modern science is the major thesis masterfully defended in this well-wrought, meticulously documented book…. In marshalling the evidence and extracting its implications, Harrison persuasively demonstrates that theological debates regarding scriptural narrative and the human soul were integral to the emergence of what we today recognize as bona fide empirically grounded science....’ -- Journal of the American Academy of Religion 

"… one of the most insightful, carefully researched, tightly argued and helpful contributions on the relationship between the development of scientific knowledge and the influence of religion on that development that I have read."
Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis