The Religious Foundations of Francis Bacon's Thought (Eric Voegelin Institute Series in Political Philosophy)

The Religious Foundations of Francis Bacon's Thought (Eric Voegelin Institute Series in Political Philosophy)

By: Stephen A. McKnight (author)Hardback

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In this important study, Stephen A McKnight investigates the relation of Francis Bacon's religious views to his ""instauration,"" or program for reforming and advancing learning in order to bring ""relief to man's estate."" McKnight provides close textual analyses of eight of Bacon's texts in order to establish the religious themes and motifs that pervade his writings from 1603 to 1626. McKnight begins with the ""New Atlantis"" because it offers the fullest articulation of Bacon's vision of instauration and because the principal religious themes in Bacon's writings are all contained within it. Next, he turns to ""The Great Instauration"" and ""The New Organon"" to show the centrality of religious concepts in two of Bacon's major philosophical works. He then examines five of Bacon's early published and unpublished works, including ""The Advancement of Learning"" and ""Wisdom of the Ancients"", to demonstrate that religious imagery and biblical themes permeate Bacon's program of reform from the outset. McKnight maintains that Bacon's vision of reform is drawn from the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, particularly the Genesis account of the Creation and the Fall; from apocalyptic expectation of renewal in the Old Testament; and from salvation themes of the New Testament. He also demonstrates that Bacon's Christian ideas are augmented and transmuted by related themes and imagery found in the prisca theologia, a mixture of Neoplatonic, Hermetic, alchemica, magic, and Jewish esoteric traditions. According to McKnight, Bacon believed that scholastic error and ecclesiastical dogma obscured religious truth and required a search for a truer, deeper level of understanding of the Scriptures and of God's saving acts in history.

About Author

STEPHEN A. MCKNIGHT is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780826216090
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 216
  • ID: 9780826216090
  • ISBN10: 0826216099

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