posted by Dániel Margócsy
A review of The Living Rock: Natural, Human, and Sacred Histories of the Earth, 1680-1740, by Lydia Barnett.
How do you write a history of the Earth from Noah’s Flood to the Apocalypse in an age that rewards piecemeal empirical research? How do you reconcile your overarching theories with the tidbits of evidence that the Bible, figure stones and Platonic myths provide? Lydia Barnett’s The Living Rock offers a refreshing intellectual history of how European scholars tackled these problems in the years around 1700. Her dissertation brings to life the heated debates that theories of the Earth...