From the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment: The Birth of Modernity

Podcast-style audio course -
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
Associate Professor of History, Georgetown University
(1 customer review)
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Includes Free Study Guide

From the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment: The Birth of Modernity

Podcast-style audio course -
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
Associate Professor of History, Georgetown University
(1 customer review)
Includes Free Study Guide
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00

Join Georgetown University’s Fr. David Collins, S.J. in an amazing tour of Western Civilization.  

Where did our modern notions about God, science and humanity come from?

Begin in the Mediterranean world of late Antiquity with the decline of Rome and the ascent of Christianity. Explore vigorous Christian debates over the appropriation of pagan thought along with the implications of these debates for medieval thinking. Follow the lively arguments over the origin of the cosmos, the laws of nature, and the extent of God’s direct role in natural changes and miraculous events.

Turning to the High Middle Ages, see the importance placed on human reason and logic.  Explore reflections about both God and nature, the 13th century founding of the university, and the development of theology and natural philosophy – science’s predecessor. Learn about the development of a heliocentric conception of the universe and the trial of Galileo. Examine the scientific foundations of witch-hunts and the affect of the Reformation on science while paying special attention to Europe’s educators, the Jesuits and the

Join Georgetown University’s Fr. David Collins, S.J. in an amazing tour of Western Civilization.  

Where did our modern notions about God, science and humanity come from?

Begin in the Mediterranean world of late Antiquity with the decline of Rome and the ascent of Christianity. Explore vigorous Christian debates over the appropriation of pagan thought along with the implications of these debates for medieval thinking. Follow the lively arguments over the origin of the cosmos, the laws of nature, and the extent of God’s direct role in natural changes and miraculous events.

Turning to the High Middle Ages, see the importance placed on human reason and logic.  Explore reflections about both God and nature, the 13th century founding of the university, and the development of theology and natural philosophy – science’s predecessor. Learn about the development of a heliocentric conception of the universe and the trial of Galileo. Examine the scientific foundations of witch-hunts and the affect of the Reformation on science while paying special attention to Europe’s educators, the Jesuits and the Calvinists. Discover the mystical origins of alchemical studies and the rise of chemistry.

Finally, you will turn to such famous characters as Robert Boyle, who titled himself ‘a priest of nature’, Isaac Newton, who has been called the most important figure of the Scientific Revolution and the last of the great Magicians, and finally, Immanuel Kant, foremost philosophical and scientific thinker of the Enlightenment, whose ‘critical philosophy’ fundamentally reconceived thinking about God and the natural world.

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David J. Collins, S.J., Ph.D. is currently the Director of Doctoral Studies and an associate professor of history at Georgetown University. He holds a doctorate in History from Northwestern University and advanced degrees in philosophy and theology from universities in the U.S.A. and Germany, where he has also taught and lectured at several universities. David Collins is an expert in the cultural and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Europe. His first scholarly work focused on the devotional writings by Renaissance humanists about the saints, and he is the author of Reforming Saints: Saints’ Lives and Their Authors in Germany, 1470-1530 (Oxford University Press, 2008). His research in this field has been awarded fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. From 2007 to 2009, he was a visiting fellow at the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in Munich.

  • Introduction
  • Athens versus Jerusalem: Christianity and Ancient Learning
  • Faith and Reason: Conflict or Compatibility
  • Who Believes in Miracles: The Problem of Causation
  • The Seventh Day: Hexameral Literature and the Creation of the World
  • Early Medieval Know It Alls: The Encyclopedists Inventing the University Aristotle, Averroes, Aquinas: The Condemnations Theology and Medicine
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice:
  • White Magic, Egyptian Hermeticism, and New Science in the Renaissance
  • Digging for Gold: Alchemy
  • Demon Spotting: The Science of Witch-Hunting
  • A Revolutionary Change
  • Science and Reformation
  • Telling Time and Drafting Calendars
  • From Revolutions to Revolts:
  • The Galileo Trials Mechanical Philosophy: Who Makes Things Tick?
  • Looking for Nothing: Robert Boyle and the Vacuum
  • Scientist, Prophet, Magician: Isaac Newton
  • Immanuel's Can't: Separating Scientific Knowledge from Religious Faith in the Enlightenment
  • Conclusion

1 review for From the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment: The Birth of Modernity

  1. Bob Boyle

    Wide Sweep, Clear ideas

    Fr. Collins goes step by step through the history of how our modern ideas about science were encouraged through the Middle Ages and Scientific Revolution by key Christian doctrine. Not at all the shorthand history of religion against science that always gets trotted out.

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