Conclusions

When considering the relationship between science and religion during this inoculation debate, it becomes clear that the patterns are subtle. The use of empirical evidence and support of science are interwoven through religious principles and praise of God’s providence. Ministers and physicians criticize one another for intermeddling in each other’s areas of expertise while using arguments from both areas to support their arguments. However, the fact that the distinctions are subtle is precisely what makes this time period interesting. Quantitative analysis by word frequencies reveals interesting patterns that confirm some separation between ministers and physicians in a way that is not possible by close reading. Qualitative analysis reveals reconciliation between religion and science, separation by genre, and a deeper debate about roles in society. When either analysis is viewed in light of the other, the interpretation becomes more complete. Thus we see that the best conclusions come not from just relying on traditional methods or using the new, but embracing the complete analysis provided by both tools used together.

Click the links below to read more analysis of the results of the study:

Qualitative Analysis | Another Perspective Critique | Modern Connections 

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