God's Bounty?

God's Bounty?

The Churches and the Natural World

Edited by Peter Clarke, Tony Claydon


Ecclesiastical History Society



This collection shows how Christianity has long sought to learn from nature as a 'book', full of examples to illustrate religious teaching and signs of divine and saintly interventions in human history.
The tension between faith and reason has marked Christian approaches to nature, and theologians since Augustine have sought to resolve this. In the wake of the Scientific Revolution the challenges to religious explanations of the world increased dramatically, notably with the emergence of Darwin's theory of evolution. Science has often put Christianity on the defensive but also provoked theological reflection, especially on human stewardship of nature as man's impact on the environment has become more apparent. Christianity has long sought to learn from nature as a 'book', full of examples to illustrate religious teaching and signs of divine and saintly interventions in human history. Some Christians have even tried to live in harmony with nature in utopian communities. This volume bears witness to lively scholarly debate on these and other aspects of its theme, and covers a wide chronological, geographical and thematic range stretching from missionary encounters with the New Worlds of Australia and Latin America to popular and learned responses towards nature in early modern Italy and Hungary.

PETER CLARKE is Reader of Medieval History at Southampton University; TONY CLAYDON is Professor of Early Modern History at Bangor University.

CONTRIBUTORS: A. Atherstone, M. Bentley, P. Biller, B. Bolton, C. Clark, S. Ditchfield, S. Foot, K. A. Francis, R. Gillespie, M. Gladwin, O. Gusakova, Tadhg Ó Hannrachain, R. G. Ingram, S. Knight, C. Kostick, G. Oppitz-Trotman, S. Parsons, A. Raffe, S. P. Rosenberg, T. Rowe, P. M. Scott, B. Sheils, M. Smith, A. Spicer, R. N. Swanson, E. Tingle, A. Walsham, P. White, J. Willis


April 2010
486 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Studies in Church History
ISBN: 9780954680961
Format: Hardback
Ecclesiastical History Society
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Table of Contents

Forming the Saeculum: The Desacralization of Nature and the Ability to Understand it in Augustine's Literal Commentary on Genesis - Stanley Rosenberg
Plenty, Portents and Plague: Ecclesiastical Readings of the Natural World in EArly Medieval Europe - Sarah Foot
A Saint and the Natural World: A Motif of Obedience in three early Anglo-Saxon Saints' Lives - Olga Gusakova
Bless, O Lord, this fruit of the new trees: Liturgy and Nature in England in the Central Middle Ages - Tamsin Rowe
God's Bounty, Pauperes and the Crusades of 1096 and 1147 - Conor Kostick
Birds, Beasts and Becket: Falconry and Hawking in the Lives and Miracles of St Thomas Becket - Gesine Oppitz-Trotman
Cathars and the Natural World - Peter Biller
Subiaco - Innocent III's Version of Elijah's Cave - Brenda H. Bolton
Payback Time? Tithes and Tithing in Late Medieval England - Robert N Swanson
Devotion, Popular Belief and Sympathetic Magic among Renaissance Italian Women: The Rose of Jericho as Birthing Aid - Suzy Knight
What did Natural History have to do with Salvation? Jose de Acosta SJ (1540-1600) in the Americas - Simon Ditchfield
Footprints and Faith: Religion and the Landscape in Early Modern Britain and Ireland - Alexandra M Walsham
Nature, Music and the Reformation in England - Jonathan Willis
The 'wonders in the deep' and the 'mighty tempest of the sea': Nature, Providence and the English Seafarers' Piety, c1580-1640 - Sarah Parsons
The Sea and Souls: Maritime Votice Practices in Counter-Reformation Brittany, 1500-1750 - Elizabeth Tingle
Devotional Landscapes: God, Saints and the Natural World in Early Modern Ireland - Raymond Gillespie
Nature's Scourges: The Natural World and Special Prayers, Fasts and Thanksgivings, 1541-1866 - Alasdair Raffe
'The miraculous mathematics of the world': Proving the Existence of God in Cardinal Peter Pazmany's Kalauz - Tadhg O Hannrachain
'God hath put such secretes in nature': The Reformed Kirk, Church-Building and the Religious Landscape in Early Modern Scotland - Andrew Spicer
Nature, History and the Search for Order: The Boyle Lectures, 1730-1785 - Robert G. Ingram
Australian Anglican Clergymen, Science and Religion, 1820-1850 - Michael Gladwin
The Mountain and the Flower: The Power and Potential of Nature in the World of Victorian Evangelicalism - Mark Smith
Frances Ridley Havergal's Theology of Nature - Andrew Atherstone
Darwin's Church - Paul White
William Paley, Samuel Wilberforce, Charles Darwin and the Natural World: An Anglican Conversation - Keith A. Francis
Nature and Modernity: J.C. Atkinson and Rural Ministry in England, c. 1850-1900 (Presidential Address) - W J Sheils
Heavens on Earth: Christian Utopias in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century America - Chris Clark
Methodism, Science and the Natural World: Some Tensions in the Thought of Herbert Butterfield - Michael Bentley
Which Nature? Whose Justice? Shifting Meanings of Nature in Recent Ecotheology - Peter Manley Scott


The range of essays is extremely broad in subject, chronology, geography and method. (...) This volume will appeal especially to ecclesiastical and environmental historians. (It) is an excellently produced volume. EXPOSITORY TIMES

A sound, complete and comprehensive collection of scholarly thoughts, God's Bounty is a core addition to any Christian studies collection. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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