Mathematics and the Divine seem to correspond to diametrically opposed tendencies of the human mind. Does the mathematician not seek what is precisely defined, and do the objects intended by the mystic and the theologian not lie beyond definition? Is mathematics not Man's search for a measure, and isn’t the Divine that which is immeasurable ? The present book shows that the domains of mathematics and the Divine, which may seem so radically separated, have throughout history and across cultures, proved to be intimately related. Religious activities such as the building of temples, the telling of ritual stories or the drawing of enigmatic figures all display distinct mathematical features. Major philosophical systems dealing with the Absolute and theological speculations focussing on our knowledge of the Ultimate have been based on or inspired by mathematics. A series of chapters by an international team of experts highlighting key figures, schools and trains of thought is presented here. Chinese number mysticism, the views of Pythagoras and Plato and their followers, Nicholas of Cusa's theological geometry, Spinozism and intuitionism as a philosophy of mathematics are treated side by side among many other themes in an attempt at creating a global view on the relation of mathematics and Man’s quest for the Absolute in the course of history. · Mathematics and man's quest for the Absolute · A selective history highlighting key figures, schools and trains of thought · An international team of historians presenting specific new findings as well as general overviews · Confronting and uniting otherwise compartmentalized information
Author: Karl W. Giberson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-16
Genre: Abrahamic religions
Most of us believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is "God's will," "karma", or "fate," we want to believe that an overarching purpose undergirds everything, and that nothing in the world, especially a disaster or tragedy, is a random, meaningless event.Abraham's Dice explores the interplay between chance and randomness, as well as between providence and divine action in the monotheistic religious traditions, looking at how their interaction has been conceptualized as our understanding of the workings of nature has changed. This lively historicalconversation has generated intense and engaging theological debates, and provocative responses from science: what of the history of our universe, where chance and law have played out in complex ways? Or the evolution of life, where random mutations have challenged attempts to find purpose withinevolution and convinced many that human beings are a "glorious accident." The enduring belief that everything happens for a reason is examined through a conversation with major scholars, among them holders of prestigious chairs at Oxford and Cambridge universities and the University of Basel, aswell as several Gifford lecturers, and two Templeton prize winners. Now, as never before, confident scientific assertions that the world embodies a profound contingency are challenging theological claims that God acts providentially in the world. The random and meandering path of evolution is widely used as an argument that God did not create life. Organizedhistorically, Abraham's Dice provides a wide-ranging scientific, theological, and biblical foundation to address the question of divine action in a world shot through with contingency.
Author: David Albertson
Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK)
Release Date: 2014
Mathematical Theologies uncovers the lost history of Christianity's encounters with Pythagorean religious ideas before the Renaissance. David Albertson shows that the writings of Thierry of Chartres (d. 1157) and Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464) represent a robust Christian Neopythagoreanism that reconceived the Trinity and the Incarnation within the framework of Greek number theory. Their sophisticated mathematical theologies challenge contemporary assumptions about the relation of religion and modern science. David Albertson surveys the slow formation of Neopythagorean theologies of the divine One from the Old Academy through Middle Platonism into the Middle Ages. Against this backdrop, Thierry of Chartres's writings stand out as the first authentic retrieval and incorporation of Neopythagoreanism within western Christianity. By reading Boethius and Augustine against the grain, Thierry reactivated a suppressed potential in ancient Christian traditions that harmonized the divineWord with notions of divine Number. Despite fame during his lifetime, Thierry's ideas remained well outside the medieval mainstream. Nicholas rediscovered anonymous fragments of Thierry and his medieval readers, and drew on them liberally in his first mystical treatise. Yet tensions among this collection of sources drove Cusanus to try to reconcile their competing understandings of Word and Number. Over three decades Nicholas eventually learned how to articulate traditional Christian dogmas within a Neopythagorean cosmology of mathematized nature - anticipating the situation of modern Christian thought after the seventeenth century. Mathematical Theologies skillfully guides readers through the newest scholarship on Pythagoreanism, the school of Chartres, and Cusanus, while revising some of the categories that have separated those fields in the past.
Author: Richard J. Oosterhoff
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-08-02
In 1503, for the first time, a student in Paris was able to spend his entire university career studying only the printed textbooks of his teacher, thanks to the works of the humanist and university reformer Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples (c. 1455-1536). As printed books became central to the intellectual habits of following generations, Lefèvre turned especially to mathematics as a way to renovate the medieval university. Making Mathematical Culture argues this was a pivatol moment in the cultural history of Europe and explores how the rise of the printed book contributed to the growing profile of mathematics in the region. Using student manuscripts and annotated books, Making Mathematical Culture offers a new account of printed textbooks, as jointly made by masters and students, and how such collaborative practices informed approaches to mathematics.
Author: Robert H. Nelson
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2015-11-11
In recent years, a number of works have appeared with important implications for the age-old question of the existence of a god. These writings, many of which are not by theologians, strengthen the rational case for the existence of a god, even as this god may not be exactly the Christian God of history. This book brings together for the first time such recent diverse contributions from fields such as physics, the philosophy of human consciousness, evolutionary biology, mathematics, the history of religion, and theology. Based on such new materials as well as older ones from the twentieth century, it develops five rational arguments that point strongly to the (very probable) existence of a god. They do not make use of the scientific method, which is inapplicable to the question of a god. Rather, they are in an older tradition of rational argument dating back at least to the ancient Greeks. For those who are already believers, the book will offer additional rational reasons that may strengthen their belief. Those who do not believe in the existence of a god at present will encounter new rational arguments that may cause them to reconsider their opinion.
Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-02-22
Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
Author: Ravi M. Gupta
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-03-19
A vibrant example of living literature, the Bhagavata Purana is a versatile Hindu sacred text written in Sanskrit verse. Finding its present form by the tenth century C.E., the work inspired several major north Indian devotional (bhakti) traditions as well as schools of dance and drama, and continues to permeate popular Hindu art and ritual in both India and the diaspora. Introducing the Bhagavata Purana's key themes while also examining its extensive influence on Hindu thought and practice, this collection conducts the first multidimensional reading of the entire text. Each essay focuses on a key theme of the Bhagavata Purana and its subsequent presence in Hindu theology, performing arts, ritual recitation, and commentary. The authors consider the relationship between the sacred text and the divine image, the text's metaphysical and cosmological underpinnings, its shaping of Indian culture, and its ongoing relevance to contemporary Indian concerns.
Author: Ho Peng Yoke
Release Date: 2004-03-01
Though there are a number of well-written works on Chinese divination, there are none that deal with the three sophisticated devices that were employed by the Chinese Astronomical Bureau in the eleventh century and for hundreds of years thereafter. Chinese experts applied the methods associated with these devices to both weather forecasting and to the interpretation of human affairs. Hidden by a veil of secrecy, these methods have always been relatively little known other than by their names. The first work in any language to explore these three methods, known as sanshi (three cosmic boards), this book sheds light on a topic which has been shrouded in mystery for centuries, having been kept secret for many years by the Chinese Astronomical Bureau.
Author: Ida H. Stamhuis
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
This volume is written as a reaction to the worldwide decreasing interest in the natural sciences. It addresses many intriguing questions. How is the changing image of the distinct sciences experienced by the general public, by the scientists themselves, or in disciplines in which natural sciences are applied? How can it be connected to the phenomenon of the low number of women in science? It is of interest to researchers, teachers, and students of natural sciences, the history of science, and philosophy.
Mathematics from a Christian perspective With respect for the history and ever-changing applications of mathematical principles, James Bradley and Russell Howell, along with a team of fellow scholars, invite readers to consider the rich intersection of mathematics and Christian belief. Citizens of the twenty-first century generally believe that mathematics is all about numbers and formulas, with no religious significance— an attitude that belies the faith-based work of thinkers from Plato to Newton. It is time to reawaken our sensitivity to the vital spiritual matters raised by the study of mathematics, a discipline that demands profound thought and helps us understand the beauty and the order of our physical world. Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith explores questions such as: What is the relationship between chance and divine providence? Do concepts like infinity point beyond themselves to a higher reality? Is mathematics discovered or invented, and why is it effective in the sciences? This comprehensive work, one in a series of cosponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, is designed to help students and teachers understand how mathematics has evolved and how the interplay of mathematics and Christian belief can enrich the study of both.
Author: Frank Burk
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-10-14
A superb text on the fundamentals of Lebesgue measure and integration. This book is designed to give the reader a solid understanding of Lebesgue measure and integration. It focuses on only the most fundamental concepts, namely Lebesgue measure for R and Lebesgue integration for extended real-valued functions on R. Starting with a thorough presentation of the preliminary concepts of undergraduate analysis, this book covers all the important topics, including measure theory, measurable functions, and integration. It offers an abundance of support materials, including helpful illustrations, examples, and problems. To further enhance the learning experience, the author provides a historical context that traces the struggle to define "area" and "area under a curve" that led eventually to Lebesgue measure and integration. Lebesgue Measure and Integration is the ideal text for an advanced undergraduate analysis course or for a first-year graduate course in mathematics, statistics, probability, and other applied areas. It will also serve well as a supplement to courses in advanced measure theory and integration and as an invaluable reference long after course work has been completed.
Author: C. B. Schmitt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1988
The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy offers a balanced and comprehensive account of philosophical thought from the middle of the fourteenth century to the emergence of modern philosophy at the turn of the seventeenth century. The Renaissance has attracted intense scholarly attention for over a century, but in the beginning the philosophy of the period was relatively neglected and this is the first volume in English to synthesize for a wider readership the substantial and sophisticated research now available. The volume is organized by branch of philosophy rather than by individual philosopher or by school. The intention has been to present the internal development of different aspects of the subject in their own terms and within their historical context. This structure also emphasizes naturally the broader connotations of "philosophy" in that intellectual world.