By William Johnstone
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Additional resources for The Bible and the Enlightenment: A Case Study - Alexander Geddes (1737-1802) (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 377)
I am most grateful to the Roman Catholic authorities in Aberdeen for arranging the ceremony in recognition that Geddes had spoken truth, had been ahead of his time, and that, after Vatican II, rehabilitation was now overdue. I confess, nonetheless, to a frisson at the ceremony, a fear that, with the best of intentions, we might have somehow been trespassing on Geddes's own sense of defiant integrity. I hope he would have taken it in the spirit in which it was intended and that he would have been pleased to be recognized and accepted, to have been commemorated, appreciated and re-evaluated, as 'polymath and polyglot', as Father Michael McMahon succinctly put it in his sermon on the occasion.
Geddes himself, as well as having command of six ancient languages, was equally at home with French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and Danish. The Scots College in Paris, where he studied, often played host to those Scots who were passing through, among the visitors being the great David Hume, the most famous philosopher of the age (Fuller 1984: 18). DEVINE Alexander Geddes: The Scottish Context 37 Other aspects of the Scottish context also deserve attention. Geddes's Catholicism derives from the specific locality in which he was born in Scotland.
19 First, Geddes's concluding remarks on the plague cycle (CR: 212-13): ... if any unfettered mind can really and literally believe, I will only say that it is far, very far, removed from scepticism. Is the story then entirely without foundation? Perhaps not. it might very well happen that an extraordinary exundation of the Nile should take place, and be followed with an uncommon brood of frogs, gnats, and other most troublesome animals; a tremendous hail, a prodigious flight of locusts, an unusual darkness, and finally a ravaging pestilence..
The Bible and the Enlightenment: A Case Study - Alexander Geddes (1737-1802) (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 377) by William Johnstone