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God Does Not Exist
Detail of head of Christ, from [De philosophia naturali] (Germany, ca.1485-1499), Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library

On exhibit August 27, 2012 - February 24, 2013

According to a 2011 Gallup Poll, nine out of ten Americans reported that they believe in God or some form of higher being. For over one thousand years, within the Western tradition, religious thinkers, philosophers, and scientists have attempted to prove or disprove the existence of God. Despite the sophisticated arguments postulated by believers and non-believers, God's existence remains unproven. During Penn's Year of Proof, we present a small exhibition selected from the Library's primary source collections, showing examples of individual works which attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God.

Image credit: Reproduction of image of Christ. From [De philosophia naturali].
[Mainz?, Germany, between 1485 and 1499]. 
LJS 429. Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of Manuscripts.

The image of Christ (left) is reproduced from a manuscript dated to the end of the fifteenth century, an illustrated introduction to natural philosophy. The text is allegedly based upon the principles of Isidore of Seville but in fact represents later Aristotelian and Thomist thought and criticizes the followers of scholastic thinker Duns Scotus. The manuscript includes a discussion of the proofs of existence of God founded upon the writings of Thomas Aquinas. 

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