Book of Nature

The Book of Nature is an expression indicating a world view that sees all of created order as one particular means in which God communicates with man in a way that parallels the purpose of holy scripture (i.e., the Book of Scripture). In other words, God is the author of two books: the Bible and that of nature.

The first person to use this expression was Augustine. It occurred when he was asserting that even fallen creation is essentially good over against the Manichaeans' claim of the material world being intrinsically evil.^[1]^

As a topic the Book of Nature regularly appears in the scholarship of science and theology. It is important to work seeking to understand the patristic and medieval use of biblical allegory as well as the thesis that the denial of medieval allegory by Protestants such as Luther and Calvin led to early modern thought. Here the physical interpretation of the book of nature--man's experience in the realms of physical and biological reality--goes hand in hand with the hermeneutical understanding of the Book of Scripture.


  1. ? Contra Faustum Manichaean (Against Faustus the Manichean). c.400 A.D. Section 32.20.

Further reading