Speaker: Dr William Poole, New College, Oxford
Francis Lodwick was an unusual 17th century Fellow of the Royal Society. At the time the Society consisted mainly of gentleman-philosophers, but he was a London cloth-merchant who never attended university. The Fellows deliberately avoided discussing religion, but Lodwick was a radical free-thinker who composed long, secret, treatises critiquing the Biblical account of creation and arguing in favour of divorce, usury, and the notion that Biblical law applied only to the Jews. What was this man doing at the Royal Society? This talk will discuss Lodwick’s religious theories in the context of his major contributions to 17th century linguistics and the search for a universal language.