Skip to main content
The Bible and the emergence of modern science
Humanities & Social Sciences papers
  • Peter Harrison, Bond University
Date of this Version
Document Type
Journal Article
Publication Details

Harrison, Peter (2006) The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science, Science and Christian Belief, 18 (2006).

Copyright ©2006 Science & Christian Belief and Peter Harrison. All rights reserved.
Permission granted.

Access Science and Christian Belief homepage.

2006 HERDC submission

The Bible played a significant role in the development of modern science. Most obviously, its contents were important because they could be read in ways that seemed either to conflict with or to confirm new scientific claims. More important, however, were changes to the way in which the Bible was interpreted during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The move away from allegorical readings of Scripture and the new focus on the historical or literal sense - a development promoted by humanist scholars and Protestant reformers - contributed to the collapse of the symbolic world of the Middle Ages and paved the way for new mathematical and taxonomic readings of nature. Biblical hermeneutics was thus of profound importance for those new ways of interpreting nature that we associate with the emergence of modern science.
Citation Information
Peter Harrison. "The Bible and the emergence of modern science" (2006)
Available at: