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William Stukeley: science, archaeology and religion in eighteenth-century England

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Dr William Stukeley (1687-1765) was the most renowned English antiquary of the eighteenth century. This study discusses his life and achievements, placing him firmly within his intellectual milieu, which he shared with his illustrious friend Isaac Newton and with other natural philosophers, theologians and historians. Stukeley's greatest memorial was his work on the stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury: at a time when most historians believed they were Roman or medieval monuments, he proved that they were of much greater antiquity, and his influence on subsequent interpretations of these monuments and their builders was enormous. For Stukeley, these stone circles - the work of 'Celtic Druids', were a link in the chain that connected the pristine religion of Adam and Noah with the modern Anglican Church. Historians today belittle such speculations, but Stukeley shared his vision of lost religious and scientific knowledge with many of the great minds of his day; this account shows how throughout his distinguished career his antiquarian researches fortified his response to Enlightenment irreligion and the threat he believed it posed to science and society

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/12338/

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