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Jesuits and the Book of Nature

Science and Education in Modern Portugal

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Francisco Malta Romeiras

Jesuits and the Book of Nature: Science and Education in Modern Portugal offers an account of the Jesuits’ contributions to science and education after the restoration of the Society of Jesus in Portugal in 1858. As well as promoting an education grounded on an “alliance between religion and science,” the Portuguese Jesuits founded a scientific journal that played a significant role in the consolidation of taxonomy, plant breeding, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. In this book, Francisco Malta Romeiras argues that the priority the Jesuits placed on the teaching and practice of science was not only a way of continuing a centennial tradition but should also be seen as response to the adverse anticlerical milieu in which the restoration of the Society of Jesus took place.

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Ira Livingston

Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.

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Edited by Karl A. E.. Enenkel and Paul J. Smith

This volume tries to map out the intriguing amalgam of the different, partly conflicting approaches that shaped early modern zoology. Early modern reading of the “Book of Nature” comprised, among others, the description of species in the literary tradition of antiquity, as well as empirical observations, vivisection, and modern eyewitness accounts; the “translation” of zoological species into visual art for devotion, prayer, and religious education, but also scientific and scholarly curiosity; theoretical, philosophical, and theological thinking regarding God’s creation, the Flood, and the generation of animals; new attempts with respect to nomenclature and taxonomy; the discovery of unknown species in the New World; impressive Wunderkammer collections, and the keeping of exotic animals in princely menageries. The volume demonstrates that theology and philology played a pivotal role in the complex formation of this new science.

Contributors include: Brian Ogilvie, Bernd Roling, Erik Jorink, Paul Smith, Sabine Kalff, Tamás Demeter, Amanda Herrin, Marrigje Rikken, Alexander Loose, Sophia Hendrikx, and Karl Enenkel.