The Excellency of Theology: A Critique of Robert K. Merton\'s \"Puritan Thesis,\" with Reference to the Works of Robert Boyle
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Robert K. Merton's "Puritan Thesis" asserts a direct correlation between Puritan theological beliefs and participation in natural philosophy (what today would be known as science). This essay corrects the misleading assumptions and conclusions brought about by Merton's argument, by using the writings of Robert Boyle. Boyle, whom Merton designated a "Puritan scientist," wrote extensively on the connection between natural philosophy and theology; and his writings demonstrate that the relationship between the two was far more complex than the simplicity of Merton's thesis suggests.