Writings on Newton by Stephen David Snobelen
At the end of the seventeenth century, Isaac Newton (1642-1727) initiated a revolution in science. At the end of the twentieth century, scholars began a revolution in the understanding of Newton. As Newton's long-concealed private papers on theology become increasingly accessible, students of Newton's thought are coming to see Newton as more than a scientist.
The author of the Principia mathematica was a true Renaissance man who spent decades delving in the secrets of alchemy and even longer studying the Bible, theology and church history. Leaving behind four million words on theology, Newton was one of the greatest lay theologians of his age. A study of Newton's theology and prophetic views illuminates the life of this great thinker and helps us understand his science.
This website provides downloadable academic papers (both published and forthcoming) that explore Newton's theology, prophetic views and the interaction between his science and his religion. These resources include substantial quotations from Newton's unpublished theological manuscripts.
Isaac Newton, heretic (300k)
This essay, published in the British Journal for the History of Science in 1999, details Newton's dissenting theology and his attempts to preach his antitrinitarian faith in secret
Isaac Newton on the Return of the Jews (219k)
This essay, published in a collection of papers on millenarianism and science in 2001, outlines Newton's prophetic belief in the return of the Jews to Israel, along with other aspects of his millenarian eschatology
Newton and Socinianism (138k)
This essay, to be published in Germany in 2005, explores the many analogies between Newton's heretical theology and that of the Polish Brethren, or Socinians (the leading antitrinitarian movement of the seventeenth century).
Newton on the devil (120k)
This essay, forthcoming in 2003, is the first full-length study of Newton's disbelief in a personal devil and ontologically real demons
Newton's science and religion (131k)
This essay, published by Ashgate in 2004, shows ways in which Newton's heretical theology interacted with his natural philosophy (science)
Newton's General Scholium (208k)
This essay, published in Osiris in 2001, reveals that the most famous book in the history of science (Newton's Principia) concludes with an account of biblical monotheism and an attack on the doctrine of the Trinity
Isaac Newton, the Apocalypse and 2060 A.D. HTML
This essay, forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of History, considers what Newton meant when he jotted down the date 2060 on a scrap paper in the early eighteenth century.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment - Newton biography (41k)
This short biography, published in 2002, demonstrates that Newton was a profoundly religious man, not one of the founders of the Age of Reason
Encyclopedia of Science and Religion entry (24k)
This short entry, published in 2003, stresses that there are many links between Newton's religious faith and his study of nature
Religion in Past and Present entry (8k)
This entry, forthcoming in Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Religion in Past and Present), 4th ed., 2003, provides a brief outline of Newton's theological views and how they related to his science
The General Scholium to Newton's Principia
An eighteenth-century English translation of the theological appendix to the greatest work in the history of science.
The Newton Project
Leading the current revolution in Newton scholarship, the Newton Project is employing innovative technology to make Newton's once-concealed private manuscripts accessible to the public. The Newton Project was founded in 1998 and is based at Imperial College, London and the University of Cambridge. For more information on Newton's theology, a complete list of Newton's unpublished theological and prophetic manuscripts, several transcriptions of Newton's theological manuscripts and colour images of some of these writings, visit the Newton Project website: www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk
The Newton Project Canada Founded in 2004 and based at King's College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Newton Project Canada works in conjunction with the Newton Project (UK) and serves as a Canadian centre of operations for transcription work and related Newton scholarship. Its website also includes some unique resources, including foreign language translations of one of Newton's theological manuscripts. Visit the Newton Project Canada website: www.isaacnewton.ca
Read an insider's account of the news story about Newton's "prediction" that circled the globe in late February and early March 2003.Forthcoming: Isaac Newton, Heretic
To be published by Icon Books in the United Kingdom, this book will detail Newton's heretical theology, apocalyptic thought and alchemy.EMAIL THE AUTHOR