Newton’s Biblical Theology and His Theological Physics

  • Richard H. Popkin
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 123)


In the vast literature about Newton, little is devoted to explaining his religious views, except as personal aberrations, infantile views, or premature signs of senility. In recent years R.S. Westfall, Frank Manuel, James Force and a few others have tried to give some more impressive explanations of why one of the world’s greatest scientists should have spent so much time thinking and writing about religious matters.1 In this paper I should like to turn the problem around, and ask why did one of the greatest anti-Trinitarian theologians of the 17th century take time off to write works on natural science, like the Principia Mathematica?


Human History Jewish History Religious View Biblical Text Religious Matter 
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    No inventory of Newton’s theological manuscripts has been published. Westfall, in op.cit. gives a survey of where manuscripts are located. I have found others at the University of Kentucky, at the Seventh Day Adventist Seminary at Barien Springs, Michigan, and in private hands. There is a sales catalogue of Sotheby’s for the manuscripts that were auctioned off in 1936.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard H. Popkin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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