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Medieval Ideas of the Multiverse

Medieval Ideas of the Multiverse

Paper by J. Christopher Clemens

Given at the Society of Catholic Scientists Conference: Origins, on April 22, 2017

Excerpt: To most of the theologians in Paris, anything not forbidden by logical contradiction was possible for God. But the arts faculty was teaching principles from Aristotle that appeared to limit God’s creative power. In about 1255 forward, the known works of Aristotle – all of them – were required reading for students in the university. So to address this rising conflict, which is not even uncommon in the modern university, the bishop Étienne Tempier of Paris on March 7, 1277, advised by a panel of theologians, condemned some problematic theses of Aristotelean physics, and he threatened those who held or talked about them with excommunication. And among these was the following: “That the First Cause cannot make many worlds.”

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