Mathematics and the Divine: A Historical Study

Front Cover
Teun Koetsier, Luc Bergmans
Elsevier, 2004 M12 9 - 716 pages
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

From inside the book


CHAPTER 20 The Mathematical Analogy in the Proof of Gods Existence by Descartes
CHAPTER 21 Pascals Views on Mathematics and the Divine
CHAPTER 22 Spinoza and the Geometrical Way of Proof
Mathematician and Divine
CHAPTER 24 An Ocean of Truth
CHAPTER 25 God and Mathematics in Leibnizs Thought
CHAPTER 26 Berkeleys Defence of the Infinite God in Contrast to the Infinite in Mathematics
CHAPTER 27 Leonhard Euler 17071783

CHAPTER 9 Number Mystique in Early Medieval Computus Texts
CHAPTER 10 Is the Universe of the Divine Dividable?
Ramon Lull
CHAPTER 12 Odd Numbers and their Theological Potential Exploring and Redescribing the Arithmetical Poetics of the Paintings on the Ceiling of St...
Angels God and Mathematics in the Fourteenth Century
CHAPTER 14 Mathematics and the Divine in Nicholas of Cusa
CHAPTER 15 Michael Stifel and his Numerology
CHAPTER 16 Between Rosicrucians and CabbalaJohannes Faulhabers Mathematics of Biblical Numbers
Athanasius Kircher
CHAPTER 18 Galileo God and Mathematics
CHAPTER 19 The Mathematical Model of Creation According to Kepler
Colour Figures
CHAPTER 28 Georg Cantor 18451918
CHAPTER 29 Gerrit Mannoury and his Fellow Significians on Mathematics and Mysticism
A Comparison
Priest Pavel FlorenskyTheologian Philosopher and Scientist
A Sceptical Experience
CHAPTER 33 Symbol and Space According to René Guénon
CHAPTER 34 Eddington Science and the Unseen World
CHAPTER 35 The Divined Proportion
Author Index
Subject Index

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Page 294 - And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Page 294 - And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Page 294 - Let no man deceive you by any means : for that day shall not come, except there come A FALLING AWAY first, and that MAN OF SIN be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION ; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Page 350 - It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.
Page 244 - Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.
Page 294 - Little children, it is the last time : and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists ; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Page 294 - And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Page 295 - Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man ; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Page 463 - When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men, for the belief of a Deity, and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.

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