Herbert Butterfield (1900–1979) as a Christian Historian of Science

Why is Butterfield's best-seller The Origins of Modern Science such a powerful big picture, nearly impossible to move away from? Considered in the context of his life, the contrast between his attacks on Whig history and the contents of his best-seller reveals that his big picture of science continues at the centre because of his spiritual beliefs and practices. Butterfield did not make explicit his Christian world view to his history of science readers, although one could infer this from his point that Christianity and the Scientific Revolution were the most significant events in universal history, transcending cultural boundaries. As long as Christian beliefs and practices continue to be at the centre of Western Society, so will Butterfield's big picture be at the centre. Western society is a Christian civilization. For Butterfield, the meaning of history is Christianity and The Origins of Modern Science is very much a Christian statement of the evolution of knowledge acquisition in Western society. To de-centre The Origins would require first a de-centred view of Christianity
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DOI 10.1016/0039-3681(96)00007-6
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References found in this work BETA
Ernst Mayr (1990). When is Historiography Whiggish? Journal of the History of Ideas 51 (2):301-309.

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R. Cabral (1996). Herbert Butterfield (1900-79) as a Christian Historian of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (4):547-564.
Herman Paul (2012). The Life and Thought of Herbert Butterfield: History, Science and God. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):232-235.
Herbert Butterfield (1956). History as the Emancipation From the Past. [London]London School of Economics and Political Science.

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