Irenicism in Seventeenth-Century English Thought: With Special Reference to English Natural Philosophy
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This study seeks to add to the historiographical debate on science and religion in seventeenth-century England. Despite much excellent scholarly work on historical categories such as ‘puritanism’ and ‘latitudinarianism’, historians examining the relationship between natural philosophy and religion in seventeenth-century England have not yet fully explored the importance of a deep-seated and pervasive irenic attitude in English reformed religion. As a result, this study will attempt to remedy this gap by examining this irenic tradition in the Church of England in order to more fully elucidate the complex relationship between religion and natural philosophy in seventeenth-century England. Whilst English natural philosophy is the underlining theme of this study, its main aim is toward an historical survey of English irenicism in the seventeenth-century. In my conclusion I begin the task of linking this irenic tradition to natural philosophy. Some, albeit brief, case studies will be offered which show how English religion shaped the culture of science.