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Galileo and the Church

Galileo and the Church
Political Inquisition or Critical Dialogue?


  • Date Published: September 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521344685

£ 81.99

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About the Authors
  • This book questions the traditional 'grand narratives' of science and religion in the seventeenth century. The binary oppositions underlying the story - between reason and faith, between knowledge and authority, between scripture and the light of nature - have moulded it into a formative myth: the banner of modern rationalism, liberalism and individualism. While deconstructing the oppositions behind the conflict, the book offers an analysis of the complex power/knowledge field in which the drama of Galileo and the Church unfolded. The act of silencing exemplified in the trials of Galileo is in no need of demonstration. It has been so imprinted in our consciousness that to reassert it is to state the obvious. The author's story is not about the repression of truth by religious authority. It is the story of an encounter between different types of power/knowledge structures within the framework of a dialogical model.

    • Offers new interpretation of the debate between Galileo and the Church (viewed more in 'dialogue' terms than 'conflict' terms)
    • Documents the struggle between Dominicans and Jesuits for hegemony within the Church
    • Conceptualises a key episode in the history of modern science
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1995
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521344685
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 162 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.614kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The 'Trials of Galileo':
    1. The Galileo affair: an interpretation of an historical event
    2. 1616
    3. 1633
    Part II: The Culture of the Counter Reformation:
    4. The Council of Trent: the doctrinarian phase of the Counter Reformation
    5. The Dominicans: a traditional intellectual elite of the Catholic Church
    6. The Jesuits: an alternative intellectual elite
    7. Freedom and authority in Jesuit culture
    8. The Thomist boundaries of Jesuit education
    9. Dominicans and Jesuits: a struggle for theological hegemony
    Part III: Galileo and the Church:
    10. Traditionalist interpretations of Copernicanism: from an unproven to an unprovable doctrine
    11. Copernicanism and the Jesuits
    12. The cultural field of Galileo and the Jesuits
    13. The dispute on sunspots.

  • Author

    Rivka Feldhay, Tel-Aviv University

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