We invite submissions for papers for a conference to be held at Birkbeck College, University of London, on November 27th 2004.
The conference will examine how biblical hermeneutics in the early modern period contributed to the natural philosophy of the era. The emphasis of the conference — on biblical reading practices, rather than ‘religion’ in general — is intended to focus on the specific procedures of interpretation and to propose models for how they interacted with scientific thought and discourse on the natural world.
We take ‘science’ in a broad sense, to encompass both residual and emergent models of nature. We include natural magic, alchemical and emblematic views of the natural world within our definition, as well as chemical and paracelsian models of reality. We also include emergent natural history, medical theory, and ideas of corporeality from atomism to monism. Topics might include:
* Exegesis and the natural world * Scripture and the Signatures of Natural Things * The book of Scripture and the book of Nature * The bible and Animals * Natural philosophy in biblical commentary * Scripture and the nature of corporeal being * Interpretation as prediction — comets, astronomy, apocalypse and biblical commentary. * Alchemy, cabala and exegesis * Scriptural physics / the physics of creation in the early modern mind
Keynote Speaker: Peter Harrison, Bond University, Australia. Author of ‘The Bible, Protestantism and the Rise of Natural Science’ (Cambridge University Press, 1999).
Deadline for proposals: 15th June 2004