Henry More: Magic, Religion, and Experiment

Rupert Hall, Author Blackwell Publishers $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-631-17295-6
An early scientific experimenter who was also a cabalist, Cambridge metaphysician-poet More (1614-87) continues to fascinate students of philosophy, science and religion. Although he was among the first to admire Galileo and influenced Newton, More later rejected their mechanistic explanations of living things. A Christian apologist, he regarded the universe as populated with angels and spirits, evil or benevolent. His attention to alleged cases of witchcraft, ghosts and demonism made him an anachronism in an age eagerly embracing the new science. Yet today, as this academic study demonstrates, he is regarded as a pivotal figure at the crossroads of the split into ``two cultures.'' British science historian Hall limns a peculiar man: More had a strange conviction that his body exuded a natural scent of flowers, and he wove an odd synthesis of the ``triple teaching'' of Moses, Plato and Descartes into a union of pagan and Christian traditions. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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