God Meditating on the Worm: Order, Religion and Science Among Mexican Intellectuals in the Early Republic

Clint Westgard

Abstract


Following the establishment of the new nation in 1821 the Mexican elite sought to shape the form it would take, as well as the role they and others would have in it. Fundamental to understanding how they went about this and what led them to the decisions they made is an investigation of the underlying beliefs that formed their view of the world. By looking at the interactions of religious and scientific belief in the works of two Mexican intellectuals of the first half of the nineteenth century, Luis de la Rosa and Tadeo Ortiz, I illustrate the way in which religious and scientific understandings of the world reinforced each other and were in many ways inseparable for the Mexican elite. This is because of their conception of the universe as an ordered entity, with laws that could be discerned and applied to society. What order specifically meant for the Mexican elite had large implications for the way in which they imagined the nation.





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ISSN (Print): 1705-2947
ISSN (Online): 1712-5634