Jesuit Science and the End of Nature's Secrets explores how several prominent Jesuit naturalists - including NiccolA^2 Cabeo, Athanasius Kircher, and Gaspar Schott - tackled the problem of occult or insensible causation in the seventeenth century. The search for hidden causes lay at the heart of the early modern study of nature, and included phenomena such as the activity of the magnet, the marvelous powers ascribed to certain animals and plants, and the hidden, destructive forces churning in the depths of the Earth. While this was a project embraced by most early modern naturalists, however, the book demonstrates that the Jesuits were uniquely suited to the study of nature's hidden secrets because of the complex methods of contemplation and meditation enshrined at the core of their spirituality. Divided into six chapters, the work documents how particular Jesuits sought to reveal and expose nature's myriad secrets through an innovative blending of technology, imagery, and experiment. Moving beyond the conventional Aristotelianism mandated by the Society of Jesus, they set forth a vision of the world that made manifest the works of God as Creator, no matter how deeply hidden those works were. The book thus not only presents a narrative that challenges present-day assumptions about the role played by Catholic religious communities in the formation of modern science, but also captures the exuberance and inventiveness of the early modern study of nature.
This is the first book to address the issue of ageing after a long life with disability. It breaks new ground through its particular life course perspective, examining what it means to age with a physical or mental disability and what the implications are of 'becoming old' for people who have had extensive disabilities for many years. These people may have had to leave the labour market early, and the book looks at available care resources, both formal and informal. Ageing with disability challenges set ideas about successful ageing, as well as some of those about disabilities. The life course approach that is used unfolds important insights about the impact of multiple disabilities over time and on the phases of life. The book highlights the meaning of care in unexplored contexts, such as where ageing parents are caregivers or regarding mutual care in disabled couples. These are areas of knowledge which have, to date, been totally neglected.
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