Dobbs And Jacob: Book Review

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In Newton and the Culture of Newtonianism, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs and Margaret C. Jacob attempt to present the life and works of Newton and his followers in a digestible and historically accurate account. The authors highlight the complexity of Newton’s life. Through arguing the role of religion in Newton’s endeavors, both academically and personally, the authors contextualize Newton as well as his works within the socio-cultural ideologies. Additionally, they discuss the transition in Newton’s views on Christianity, highlighting his movement against societal norms in terms of religion but his adherence to them for security. Continuing, Dobbs and Jacob discuss the followers of Newton, called Newtonians, and different interpretations of Newton’s…show more content…
In the first part, Dobbs and Jacob discuss Newton’s life and works. The authors contextualize Newton and his work within the societal constraints. Like many other natural philosophers in seventeenth century England, Newton was governed by the ideas of Christian religion. Newton, according to Dobbs and Jacob, strived for an understanding of the natural world through adopting physical principles derived from the omnipresence of God. Newton’s personal and professional endeavors, Dobbs and Jacob argue, emanate from his desire to know God’s plan for the cosmos and, therefore, divine…show more content…
In contrast to general ideas of Newton, Dobbs and Jacob attempt to reintegrate his social and cultural surroundings that shaped his beliefs and works. Newton is born into an extremely religious England. Therefore, Newton searches for divine meaning within the world in his professional works. Newton, not unlike other historical figures, is not transcendent or isolated from his environment. Dobbs and Jacob underline the effects that society and religion had on Newton and his works. Newton’s contextualization helps the reader identify the social and cultural structures that constructed and dictated Newton’s

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