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Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology

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ISBN-10: 0691009252

ISBN-13: 9780691009254

Edition: 1997

Authors: Sara Schechner

List price: $58.00
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Description:

Schechner Genuth weaves together many strands of science, religion, politics and psychology to explore the interplay between high and low beliefs about the nature of comets and the birth of modern cosmology.
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Book details

List price: $58.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 9/27/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.57" wide x 9.37" long x 0.85" tall
Weight: 1.122

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Shared Culture, Separate Spaces
High and Low Culture
The Verbal and Visual in Popular Culture
The Culture of Comets
Signs of the Times
Ancient Signs
Physical Theories of Comets
Tokens of Doom
Political Messages and Means
Monsters and the Messiah
Popular and Patristic Views of Comets
Monsters and Their Messages
Monstrous Comets in Scripture
Star of Bethlehem, Herald of Judgment
Time of the End
Reformation in Religion
Divination
Color
Conjunctions
Passage through Zodiac and Prominent Constellations
Astrological Houses and Cardinal Orientations
Pointing of Tail
Position of Nucleus
Shapes and Sizes
Motion
Duration
Historical Induction
Portents and Politics
In Streets and Alehouses
God on Their Side
Prophecies and Propaganda
Natural Causes
From Natural Signs to Proximate Causes
New Attitudes toward Nature and the Recovery of Classical Science
Aristotle and Terrestrial Corruption
Ptolemy and the Power of Mars
Stepping-StOnes from Symptoms to Causes
Critics and Strategies
The Decline of Cometary Divination
Astronomical Reforms
Epistemological Critics
Shift in Priorities and Signs of Decline
Social Reasons for the Decline
TwoRld Reformation
Comets, Transmutations, and World Reform in Newton's Thought
Celestial Mechanics of Comets
Pristine Truths and Political Corruption
Transmutations and Perpetual Interchange
Fire, Water, and a Heavenly Physiology
"Revolutions in the Heavenly Bodies"
Comets, Teleology, and Newton's Appropriation of Comet Lore
Halley's Comet Theory, Noah's Flood, and the End of the World
Interest in Orbits
Halley's Theory of the Deluge
The End of the World
The Benefits of Comets
The Scientific Response
Ecclesiastical Criticism
Halley's Alleged Freethinking in Political Context
The Satirists' Barbs
Comet Lore and Cosmogony
Refueling the Sun and Planets
Circulation of Vital Matter
Critics
Stoking the Stellar Fires
Revolution and Evolution within the Heavens
Come Hell or High Water
From Creation to Cosmogony
Concluding Remarks Popular Culture and Elite Science
Appendix Recent Resurgence of Cometary Catastrophism
Notes
Bibliography
Index