Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-59m7g Total loading time: 0.778 Render date: 2022-06-29T06:22:26.260Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

3.1 - Christian Platonism and Natural Science

from III - Engagements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2021

Alexander J. B. Hampton
University of Toronto
John Peter Kenney
Saint Michael's College, Vermont
Get access


This chapter considers the often overlooked historical contributions and contemporary importance of traditions of Christian Platonism within the development of the natural sciences. After introducing key conceptual elements, it considers the salience of Christian Platonic approaches for a variety of scientific fields including mathematics, biology, psychology, and ecology.”

Christian Platonism
A History
, pp. 355 - 380
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Albertson, David. Mathematical Theologies: Nicholas of Cusa and the Legacy of Thierry of Chartres. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. Commentary on the Book of Causes. Trans. Charles R. Hess, Richard C. Taylor, and Vincent A. Guagliardo. Washington, D.C. Catholic University of America Press, 1996.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. Disputed Questions on the Power of God [De potentia]. Translated by English Dominican Fathers. Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1952.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. Disputed Questions on Truth [De veritate]. Translated by Robert W. Mulligan, James V. McGlynn, and Robert Schmidt. 3 vols. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1952.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Contra Gentiles. Translated by Anton C. Pegis, James F. Anderson, Vernon J. Bourke, and Charles J. O’Neil. 5 vols. New York: Hanover House, 1955.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by English Dominican Fathers. 2nd ed. 22 vols. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1912.Google Scholar
Augustine, . The Confessions. Translated by Maria Boulding. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2012.Google Scholar
Beiser, Frederick C. The Romantic Imperative: The Concept of Early German Romanticism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
Bradley, James.Random Numbers and God’s Nature.” In Abraham’s Dice: Chance and Providence in the Monotheistic Traditions, edited by Giberson, Karl, 5983. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Callicott, J. Baird.Non-Anthropocentric Value Theory and Environmental Ethics.American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 21, no. 4 (Oct., 1984): 299309.Google Scholar
Chalmers, David John.Facing up to the Problem of Consciousness.” Journal of Consciousness Studies 2, no. 3 (1995): 200–219.Google Scholar
Chenu, M.-D. Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West. Translated by Jeremy Taylor and Lester K. Little. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.Google Scholar
Davison, Andrew. Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.Google Scholar
Davison, Andrew. “‘He Fathers-Forth Whose Beauty Is Past Change’, but ‘Who Knows How?’: ‘Evolution and Divine Exemplarity’.” Nova et Vetera 16, no. 4 (2018): 10671102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davison, Andrew.Looking Back towards the Origin: Scientific Cosmology as Creation Ex Nihilo Considered ‘from the Inside’.” In Creatio Ex Nihilo: Origins and Contemporary Significance, edited by Bockmuehl, Markus and Anderson, Gary, 367–389. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017.Google Scholar
Davison, Andrew. Participation in God: A Study in Christian Doctrine and Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Denzinger, Götz, ed. Enchiridion Symbolorum. 43rd ed. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012.Google Scholar
Descartes, René. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. Translated by Anthony Kenny, John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.Google Scholar
Dillon, John M. The Middle Platonists: A Study of Platonism, 80 B.C. to A.D. 220. Revised edition. London: Duckworth, 1996.Google Scholar
Easlea, Brian. Witch Hunting, Magic and the New Philosophy: An Introduction to the Debates of the Scientific Revolution, 1450–1750. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1980.Google Scholar
Fodor, Jerry A., and Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo. What Darwin Got Wrong. London: Profile, 2010.Google Scholar
Foster, M. B.Christian Theology and Modern Science of Nature (II).Mind 45 (1936): 127.Google Scholar
Galilei, Galileo. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. Translated by Stillman Drake. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957.Google Scholar
Gödel, Kurt.Russell’s Mathematical Logic.” In Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings, edited by Putnam, Hilary and Benacerraf, Paul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984: 447–469.Google Scholar
Hampton, Alexander J. B. Romanticism and the Re-invention of Modern Religion: The Reconciliation of German Idealism and Platonic Realism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.Google Scholar
Hargrove, Eugene. Foundations of Environmental Ethics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harrison, Peter.Voluntarism and Early Modern Science.History of Science 40, no. 1 (2002): 6389.Google Scholar
Hugh of St Victor., De tribus diebus. In Trinity and Creation, edited by Boyd Taylor Coolman et al. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2011.Google Scholar
Johannis Scotti Eriugenae, , Periphyseon (De Diuisione Naturae) III. Translated by John J. O’Meara and I. P. Sheldon-Williams. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, Jaegwon. Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.Google Scholar
Lewis, C. S. The Discarded Image. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marchildon, Louis. Quantum Mechanics. Berlin: Springer, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGhee, George R. Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGinn, Colin. Consciousness and Its Objects. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004.Google Scholar
McGinn, Colin. The Problem of Consciousness: Essays Toward a Resolution. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.Google Scholar
Moltmann, Jürgen. God in Creation. Translated by M. Kohl. London: SCM Press, 1985.Google Scholar
Morris, Simon Conway. Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
Moschovakis, Yiannis N. Descriptive Set Theory. Amsterdam: Elsevier North Holland, 1980.Google Scholar
Nagel, Thomas. The View from Nowhere. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.Google Scholar
Passmore, John. Man’s Responsibility for Nature. 2nd ed. London: Duckworth, 1980.Google Scholar
Penrose, Roger and Clark, J.. “Discussion of ‘Shadows of the Mind’.” Journal of Consciousness Studies 1, no. 1 (1994): 1724.Google Scholar
Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge, 1993.Google Scholar
Pryzwara, Erich. Analogia Entis: Metaphysics – Original Structure and Universal Rhythm. Translated by John Behr and David Bentley Hart. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013.Google Scholar
Rosemann, Philipp. Omne Agens Agit Sibi Simile: A “Repetition” of Scholastic Metaphysics. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Searle, John R. The Rediscovery of the Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.Google Scholar
Shaw, Gregory. Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sherman, Jacob Holsinger. Partakers of the Divine: Contemplation and the Practice of Philosophy. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2014.Google Scholar
Sokolowski, Robert. The God of Faith and Reason. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strawson, Galen. Real Materialism: And Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tanner, Kathryn.Creation Ex Nihilo as Mixed Metaphor.Modern Theology 29, no. 2 (2013): 138–155.Google Scholar
Tanner, Kathryn. God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wigner, Eugene P.The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Science.Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics 13, no. 1 (1960): 114.Google Scholar
Wilson, Edward O. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. London: Abacus, 1999.Google Scholar
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Remarks. Edited by Rhees, Rush, translated by Raymond Hargreaves and Roger White. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1975.Google Scholar
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics. Translated by G. H. von Wright, Rush Rhees, and G. E. M. Anscombe. Revised edition. Oxford: Blackwell, 1978.
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats