Chapter 7. Faith and Science: Religious or Rational?

  1. William Caferro

Published Online: 4 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324501.ch7

Contesting the Renaissance

Contesting the Renaissance

How to Cite

Caferro, W. (2010) Faith and Science: Religious or Rational?, in Contesting the Renaissance, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324501.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JUN 2010
  2. Published Print: 2 JUL 2010

Book Series:

  1. Contesting the Past

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405123693

Online ISBN: 9781444324501



  • faith and science - religious or rational;
  • opposition of religion and rationality, feature of early historiography of the Renaissance;
  • Middle Ages, an “age of faith” - the Catholic Church playing a dominant role;
  • humanism and its religious component - how to situate it in terms of the Reformation;
  • Reformation, inevitable consequence of humanism - and Reformation as a reaction against it;
  • Venetian government, relying on confraternities - the scuole, for loans in times of war and fiscal crises;
  • Renaissance and Scientific Revolution - evaluating Renaissance;
  • line between intellectual and technical developments - difficult to draw;
  • artists Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo - role of “the artist-engineer-genius,” as Erwin Panofsky calls him in the development of Renaissance science;
  • Renaissance science, magic and philosophy - operative forces in Renaissance society


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Border Region between the Late Middle Ages and the Reformation

  • Renaissance Religion

  • Popular and Civic Religion

  • Renaissance and Scientific Revolution

  • Humanism and Science

  • Technology, the Artist-Engineer-Genius, and Leonardo da Vinci

  • Magic and Philosophy