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Universities are knowledge-generating institutions, and modern societies regard knowledge, especially cutting-edge knowledge, as the necessary basis for national and international improvement. However, the question of how to organize and disseminate knowledge remains central to the goal and is today a primary concern of academics, policy analysts, organizational sociologists, industrial leaders and government officials. Historians, particularly historians of science and technology and specialists in the history of liberal learning, have contributed to the discussions by offering examples of changes in the organization of knowledge and its delivery, explaining how intellectual innovations and departures enter existing institutions or, encountering resistance, create new structures. But we still lack a systematic or concentrated scholarly understanding of how closely knowledge-generation and teaching styles are influenced by historical circumstances and tied to particular organizational structures, such as academies, departments, faculties, laboratories, schools, research institutes or special programs. It is especially important to understand how alterations in knowledge affect or fail to affect the structures of inquiry and teaching.

Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions is a peer-reviewed book series that has no restriction as to period, country or discipline. Its guiding editorial principle is to welcome studies that tie science and scholarship to their social conditions and organizational contexts.

Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions was initially published as a subseries of History of Science and Medicine Library; 10 volumes appeared as part of that subseries.
Universities are knowledge-generating institutions, and modern societies regard knowledge, especially cutting-edge knowledge, as the necessary basis for national and international improvement. However, the question of how to organize and disseminate knowledge remains central to the goal and is today a primary concern of academics, policy analysts, organizational sociologists, industrial leaders and government officials. Historians, particularly historians of science and technology and specialists in the history of liberal learning, have contributed to the discussions by offering examples of changes in the organization of knowledge and its delivery, explaining how intellectual innovations and departures enter existing institutions or, encountering resistance, create new structures. But we still lack a systematic or concentrated scholarly understanding of how closely knowledge-generation and teaching styles are influenced by historical circumstances and tied to particular organizational structures, such as academies, departments, faculties, laboratories, schools, research institutes or special programs. It is especially important to understand how alterations in knowledge affect or fail to affect the structures of inquiry and teaching.

Scientific and Learned Cultures and their Institutions is a peer-reviewed book series that has no restriction as to period, country or discipline. But the guiding editorial principle is to welcome studies that tie science and scholarship to their social conditions and organizational contexts.

Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions was initially published as a subseries of History of Science and Medicine Library. Starting with Vol. 11, Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions is published as a separate series.
Editor-in-Chief: Mordechai Feingold
Erudition and the Republic of Letters is a peer-reviewed journal devoted primarily to the history of scholarship, intellectual history, and to the respublica literaria broadly conceived. It encapsulates multifarious aspects of higher learning as well as the manner in which such knowledge transcends confessional and geopolitical boundaries.

This seems to be a propitious time for such an enterprise, as there exists a lively, and mostly young, community of scholars who carry out excellent and exciting work. Erudition and the Republic of Letters will establish itself quickly as the premier venue of its kind, and cater to the needs and aspirations of this community, while exhibiting the viability of the subject matter to students. The journal’s policy would be to not impose arbitrary word limit, but allow the content of the essay to determine length. Also, it would encourage publication of scholarly articles as well as editions of texts, reviews etc. — from the late Middle Ages to the end of the Nineteenth Century.

Erudition and the Republic of Letters may occasionally publish a primary source but it is devoted primarily to interpretative essays and reviews. By publishing such works, it aims to expand the available scholarly resources, and further invigorate the scholarly community.

Erudition and the Republic of Letters uses double-blind peer review.

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Erudition and the Making of the King James Version of the Bible
The centrality of the King James Bible to early modern culture has been widely recognized. Yet for all the vast literature devoted to the masterpiece, little attention has been paid either to the scholarly scaffolding of the translation or to the erudition of the translators. The present volume seeks to redress this neglect by focusing attention on seven key translators as well as on their intellectual milieu. Utilizing a wide range of hitherto unknown or overlooked sources, the volume furnishes not only precious new information regarding the composition and early reception of the King James Bible, but firmly situates the labours of the translators within the broad context of early modern biblical and oriental scholarship and polemics.

Contributors are James P. Carley, Mordechai Feingold, Anthony Grafton, Nicholas J. S. Hardy, Alison Knight, Jeffrey Alan Miller, William Poole, Thomas Roebuck, and Joanna Weinberg.


This essay offers a more dynamic, and historically grounded, context to explain how and why various individuals and groups in England adopted the term “experimental philosophy.” Before the foundation of the Royal Society, I contend, the term had been utilized promiscuously, its modern signification conspicuously absent. Building on this insight, I examine the seemingly deliberate decision by future members of the Royal Society to avoid using the term – and the subsequent shift in their attitude c. 1660. My aim is to demonstrate that while only in England did the fixed conceptual and polemical term “experimental philosophy” become popularized and its (supposed) practice institutionalized, English natural philosophers did not view themselves as engaged in a practice that was fundamentally different than that pursued by their counterparts on the Continent.


In: Early Science and Medicine

In chronicles of early Catholic missions to England, John Hart (d.1586) comes across as something of an embarrassment. Slated to be executed alongside Edmund Campion on December 1, 1581, at the last moment Hart chose life over martyrdom. In exchange for his freedom he volunteered to spy on William Allen, president of the English College in Rheims. Equally embarrassing, in the context of the charged religious and political atmosphere of the early 1580s, when put to the test as a scholar, Hart revealed weakness instead of strength in his conference with John Rainolds. Though this basic story line is known and often summarily retold, few scholars have delved into the intricacies of the affair—an omission this article seeks to remedy.

In: Journal of Jesuit Studies
In: John Wilkins (1614-1672): New Essays
In: John Wilkins (1614-1672): New Essays
In: For the Sake of Learning