Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 6
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Feldhay, Rivka 2000. Recent Narratives on Galileo and the Church: or The Three Dogmas of the Counter-Reformation. Science in Context, Vol. 13, Issue. 3-4, p. 489.

    Dawes, Gregory W. 2007. Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?. Religion Compass, Vol. 1, Issue. 6, p. 711.

    Drees, Willem B. 2011. INFORMED INTELLECT AND INTEGRITY. Zygon®, Vol. 46, Issue. 2, p. 261.

    JANIAK, ANDREW 2012. NEWTON AND DESCARTES: THEOLOGY AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 50, Issue. 3, p. 414.

    Allen, Paul L. 2013. AN AUGUSTINIAN PHILOSOPHER BETWEEN DUALISM AND MATERIALISM: ERNAN MCMULLIN ON HUMAN EMERGENCE. Zygon®, Vol. 48, Issue. 2, p. 294.

    Aechtner, Thomas 2015. GALILEO STILL GOES TO JAIL: CONFLICT MODEL PERSISTENCE WITHIN INTRODUCTORY ANTHROPOLOGY MATERIALS. Zygon®, Vol. 50, Issue. 1, p. 209.

    ×
  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: May 2006

8 - Galileo on science and Scripture

Summary

AT THE ROOT OF THE GALILEO AFFAIR

In Bertolt Brecht's play, Galileo, an aged cardinal denounces the upstart astronomer from Florence:

I am informed that Signor Galilei transfers mankind from the center of the universe to somewhere on the outskirts. Signor Galilei is therefore an enemy of mankind and must be dealt with as such. Is it conceivable that God would trust this most precious fruit of his labor to a minor frolicking star? Would He have sent His Son to such a place? ... (To Galileo) You have degraded the earth despite the fact that you live by her and receive everything from her. I won't have it! I won't have it! I won't be a nobody on an inconsequential star briefly twirling hither and thither . . . The earth is the center of all things, and I am the center of the earth, and the eye of the Creator is upon me. About me revolve, affixed to their crystal shells, the lesser lights of the stars and the great light of the sun, created to give light on me that God might see me – Man, God's greatest effort, the center of creation: “In the image of God He created him.”

Brecht puts in the mouth of the old cardinal what he himself may well have believed the primary motive to be on the church's side of the “Galileo affair” Certainly, this reading of history has been a common one from the time of the Enlightenment onwards. Why were Galileo's Copernican views met with such hostility on the part of his Church? What could have explained the violent opposition of the Roman authorities to the views of someone who was after all recognized by these same authorities as the leading astronomer in the Italy of his day? Why would they have risked such a clash where the stakes were obviously so high?

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Galileo
  • Online ISBN: 9781139000598
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521581788
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×