The Beginning of Western Science was the textbook for a class I took with Professor Lindberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I found the book to be extremely informative-a lesson in western civilization, science and religion. Lindberg provides a comprehensive explanation of the creation of basic science as we know it today combined with the story of the creation, growth and influence of Judeo-Christian theology in western civilization. The book offers an amazing insight into the progression of science that parallel with the growth of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Lindberg 's study reads more like a historical novel filled with tragic heroes, as he describes key players including Greek philosophers, medieval saints and early astronomers, all who face life-threatening personal and social situations. The description of main characters' personal anguish helps draw the reader in to the story, allowing him or her to even create a picture of each character and incident, which could have been a merely general and drier recap of western science. Although based on historical fact, Lindberg interprets his views about the relationship between both disciplines. By providing the reader with a nice balance of science, philosophy and theology, Lindberg allows the reader to formulate their own opinion of who and what affected the origin and direction of science.
This is a very good guide to western scientific thought up to 1450. The chapters on ancient Greece and the European Middle Ages are very good and give a lot of detailed information about developments during those times. There is however only one Chapter on Arab science, which I felt was not enough. The book does debunk the myth that there was no progress during the Middle Ages, though. All in all, this book can be recommended.