Religious Confessions and the Sciences in the Sixteenth Century

The present volume re-evaluates the role that religious confession played in the development and understanding of the sciences and medicine in the sixteenth century. It presents the results of an international, interdisciplinary conference held in Wittenberg in December 1998. Scholars from Israel, Italy, Great Britain and Germany discussed the ways in which religious conviction and the development of the natural sciences and medicine influenced each other in the sixteenth century. Contrary to the still widespread view that relations between religion and the sciences at the dawn of the 'scientific revolution' were ridden with bitter conflict, the studies here present a more differentiated picture. They indicate that scientists in the sixteenth century were pious and religiously observant, well-aware of their respective sacred tradition. No matter whether Jewish, Roman Catholic or Protestant, they found their specific ways and means to pursue studies on nature and in the medical sciences.