Apocalyptic Themes in Isaac Newton’s Astronomical Physics

  • Article (book chapter)
  • 9 pages
  • Level: university

This essay by Stephen D. Snobelen was published in the 2021 book Intersections of Religion and Astronomy.  One of the editors of the book is Chris Corbally, an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory.  Snobelen writes on how Newton recognized that the universe was subject to change and instability, and not eternal.  Newton believed we ought to be thankful to God for our existence and sustenance.  Snobelen writes:

For Newton, the history and future of the cosmos are contained within the biblical time-frame of Genesis to Revelation: God created the earth, sustains it, renews it, and ultimately makes all things new…. [Newton] ultimately believed in the unity of all reality: all reality is God’s, created by his boundless power and sustained by his sovereign will.

From the publisher (Routledge), regarding Intersections as a whole:

This volume examines the way in which cultural ideas about “the heavens” shape religious ideas and are shaped by them in return. Our approaches to cosmology have a profound effect on the way in which we each deal with religious questions and participate in the imaginative work of public and private world-building.

Employing an interdisciplinary team of international scholars, each chapter shows how religion and cosmology interrelate and matter for real people. Historical and contemporary case studies are included to demonstrate the lived reality of a variety of faith traditions and their interactions with the cosmos. This breadth of scope allows readers to get a unique overview of how religion, science and our view of space have, and will continue to, impact our worldviews.

Click here for information from Routledge, the publisher.

Click here for a preview of “Apocalyptic Themes in Isaac Newton’s Astronomical Physics”, courtesy of Google Books.