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37 - Creating Knowledge and Knowing Creation in Theological and Scientific Writing in Late Antique Western Christendom

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2023

Lewis Ayres
Affiliation:
University of Durham and Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Michael W. Champion
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Matthew R. Crawford
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
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Summary

Scholars in late-antique Western Christendom relied both on ‘scientific’ knowledge and on theological interpretation of scripture to understand and explain the natural world. Previous scholarship discussing the process of seeking knowledge in general, and the investigation of science and theology in particular, has often centred on the issues of innovation and derivativeness. For centuries, following ideas developed during the Renaissance and ‘Enlightenment’, it was held that the fall of the Western Roman empire heralded a ‘Dark Age’ in which there was little intellectual development and scholarship was almost entirely derivative. More recently, scholars have argued instead that there was innovation in this period, at least to some degree. This chapter offers a preliminary examination of the methods and processes of inquiry used by late-antique scholars in their attempts to uncover knowledge, focusing on the topic of creation.

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The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity
Reshaping Classical Traditions
, pp. 705 - 728
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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