The Jesuits and the Invention of Modern Science
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 296
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Jesuit engagement with natural philosophy during the late 16th and early 17th centuries transformed the status of the mathematical disciplines and propelled members of the Order into key areas of controversy in relation to Aristotelianism. Through close investigation of the activities of the Jesuit 'school' of mathematics founded by Christoph Clavius, The Scientific Counter-Revolution examines the Jesuit connections to the rise of experimental natural philosophy and the emergence of the early scientific societies. Arguing for a re-evaluation of the role of Jesuits in shaping early modern science, this book traces the evolution of the Collegio Romano as a hub of knowledge. Starting with an examination of Clavius’s Counter-Reformation agenda for mathematics, Michael John Gorman traces the development of a collective Jesuit approach to experimentation and observation under Christopher Grienberger and analyses the Jesuit role in the Galileo Affair and the vacuum debate. Ending with a discussion of the transformation of the Collegio Romano under Athanasius Kircher into a place of curiosity and wonder and the centre of a global information gathering network, this book reveals how the Counter-Reformation goals of the Jesuits contributed to the shaping of modern experimental science.
This is a finely researched and richly documented book ... The Scientific Counter-Revolution is a highly valuable addition to the recent corpus of literature that has served the abandonment of "a conflictual approach to the relationship between early modern science and Catholicism" without replacing conflict "with an equally inappropriate image of harmony". * Exchange * The book offers a rich and extensively documented portrait of the scientific community centred on the Collegio Romano, with an impressive number of both printed and manuscript sources cited in the notes. * Revue d'Histoire des Sciences * Gorman invites us to witness the transformations in scientific knowledge and practice from the vantage point of the Roman College. This deeply researched study explores how and why Christopher Clavius became the model Jesuit mathematician, and what successive generations did with this legacy. The result is a rich, multi-dimensional portrait of Jesuit science and its contributions to major scientific controversies of the seventeenth century that resists oversimplification. * Paula Findlen, Professor of Early Modern Europe and History of Science, Stanford University, USA * Using a remarkable range of printed and manuscript sources, this perceptive book traces significant Jesuit scholars and mathematicians to illuminate the experimentation, correspondence and long-range organisational authority that helped to provide some of the most important resources for new knowledge in early modern Europe. Gorman's impressive analysis also speaks to wider debates on the relationship between social organisations, faith and authority. * Simon Schaffer, Professor of History of Science, University of Cambridge, UK *