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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Mathematicians and their Gods: Interactions between mathematics and religious beliefs

Snezana Lawrence and Mark McCartney's latest book has just been released. It is titled "Mathematicians and their Gods: Interactions between mathematics and religious beliefs". 

This is a book by Snezana Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education, Bath Spa University, and Mark McCartney, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, University of Ulsteron on the relationship between mathematics and religious beliefs. It aims to show that, throughout scientific history, mathematics has been used to make sense of the 'big' questions of life, and that religious beliefs sometimes drove mathematicians to mathematics to help them make sense of the world. 

To open a newspaper or turn on the television it would appear that science and religion are polar opposites - mutually exclusive bedfellows competing for hearts and minds. There is little indication of the rich interaction between religion and science throughout history, much of which continues today. From ancient to modern times, mathematicians have played a key role in this interaction. 

Chapters cover a fascinating range of topics including the Sect of the Pythagoreans, Newton's views on the apocalypse, Charles Dodgson's Anglican faith and Godel's proof of the existence of God. 

Table of Contents 

1: Mark McCartney: Introduction
2: Andrew Gregory: The Pythagoreans: Number and Numerology
3: Allan Chapman: Divine light
4: Owen Gingerich: Kepler and his Trinitarian Cosmology
5: Robin Wilson and John Fauvel: The Lull before the storm: combinatorics in the Renaissance
6: Jean-Pierre Brach: Mystical Arithmetic in the Renaissance: From Biblical Hermeneutics to a  Philosophical Tool
7: Rob Iliffe: Newton, God, and the mathematics of the Two Books
8: Massimo Mazzotti: Maria Gaetana Agnesi, mathematician of God
9: Snezana Lawrence: Capital G for Geometry: Masonic lore and the history of geometry
10: Mark Richards: Charles Dodgeson's Work for God
11: Elizabeth Lewis: P. G. Tait, Balfour Stewart and The Unseen Universe
12: Melanie Bayley: Faith and Flatland
13: C Anthony Anderson: Gödel's "proof" for the existence of God


Source: Oxford University Press

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