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

Contents

CHAPTER 20 The Mathematical Analogy in the Proof of Gods Existence by Descartes
385
CHAPTER 21 Pascals Views on Mathematics and the Divine
405
CHAPTER 22 Spinoza and the Geometrical Way of Proof
423
Mathematician and Divine
441
CHAPTER 24 An Ocean of Truth
459
CHAPTER 25 God and Mathematics in Leibnizs Thought
485
CHAPTER 26 Berkeleys Defence of the Infinite God in Contrast to the Infinite in Mathematics
499
CHAPTER 27 Leonhard Euler 17071783
509

CHAPTER 9 Number Mystique in Early Medieval Computus Texts
179
CHAPTER 10 Is the Universe of the Divine Dividable?
201
Ramon Lull
213
CHAPTER 12 Odd Numbers and their Theological Potential Exploring and Redescribing the Arithmetical Poetics of the Paintings on the Ceiling of St...
229
Angels God and Mathematics in the Fourteenth Century
249
CHAPTER 14 Mathematics and the Divine in Nicholas of Cusa
273
CHAPTER 15 Michael Stifel and his Numerology
291
CHAPTER 16 Between Rosicrucians and CabbalaJohannes Faulhabers Mathematics of Biblical Numbers
311
Athanasius Kircher
331
CHAPTER 18 Galileo God and Mathematics
347
CHAPTER 19 The Mathematical Model of Creation According to Kepler
361
Colour Figures
375
CHAPTER 28 Georg Cantor 18451918
523
CHAPTER 29 Gerrit Mannoury and his Fellow Significians on Mathematics and Mysticism
549
A Comparison
569
Priest Pavel FlorenskyTheologian Philosopher and Scientist
595
A Sceptical Experience
613
CHAPTER 33 Symbol and Space According to René Guénon
625
CHAPTER 34 Eddington Science and the Unseen World
641
CHAPTER 35 The Divined Proportion
655
Author Index
673
Subject Index
683
Copyright

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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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