• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In this affair the agreements between science and religion are more numerous and above all more important than the incomprehensions which led to the bitter and painful conflict in the course of the following centuries

Extracts from this document...


Levi Fuli 9180757 Essay Question 2 Edu 783 "In this affair the agreements between science and religion are more numerous and above all more important than the incomprehensions which led to the bitter and painful conflict in the course of the following centuries" The Galileo Affair Alongside the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, the Galileo Affair stands as a dark passage in the History of the Catholic Church. The image of Galileo as an enlightened scientific visionary, throttled and broken by catholic dogma is firmly held in popular culture and symbolizes a celebrated parting of the ways between science and religion that persists even today. For many the beginning of "modern Science" is often associated with Galileo, the beginning of a pure pursuit of science, free of religious constraint. The statement above made by John Paul II in 1979 expressed a wish to look more closely at the events surrounding the Galileo affair , according to John Paul the disagreement between Galileo and the Church should never have happened and was due to a "tragic mutual incomprehension" (John Paul 1979). Faith and Science according to the Pope were not mutually exclusive or in conflict, and when properly understood can not fundamentally be at odds with each other. My interpretation of the Popes reasoning here would be based on a belief that both faith and science must be grounded on universal truth, and cannot therefore be at odds with each other, rather only a misunderstanding in the interpretation of that truth. ...read more.


If the Copernican model was true then the literal translation of these particular passages would have to be re-interpreted. One of the key points here is that contrary to popular belief Galileo did not seek to advance Science alone in the face of religion but sought rather to reconcile science with scripture. It was never his intent to separate religion from science. (Southgate 1999) Galileo chose to address this issue of scripture in a famous letter to Benedetto Castelli in which he appealed to a broader interpretation of the bible, arguing that while its true that scripture itself cannot err, its interpreters can and have done in many ways. In essence scripture was not meant to represent strict scientific fact and that the bible was intended as once quoted by a papal cardinal "to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go" (Woodward 1999) It would be this pivotal clash of religion, science and scripture that was a key issue in the Galileo affair. By encroaching into the theological stage seeking to re-interpret biblical scripture to fit copernicanism he fell into the hands of the many enemies he had made during his campaign to promote copernicanism. Politics, Epistomology: The private interpretation of scripture was a key issue against the Protestants during the reformation and there was very little tolerance of trespass in this area from even as respected a figure as Galileo. This came also at a time when the Vatican was struggling to assert its central authority. ...read more.


Galileo was not persecuted for his scientific findings, far from it he was feted across Europe for his work. It was in seeking to reconcile it with biblical scripture and his insistence on having Copernicism accepted as truth rather than hypothesis that led eventually to his being placed under house arrest late in his life. It was his misfortune in choosing to do this at a time when the Vatican was seeking to assert its authority and the question of scriptural interpretation was of central concern. The Galileo affair has come to symbolise a celebrated departure of faith and science, something that ironically Galileo himself as a deeply religious man, which is evident in his letter to Castelli, did not intend or want. The advances in scientific knowledge during the medieval period may in fact have been due to a catholic climate that was conducive and not obstructive of scientific research. Galileo had been wrong (yet passionate) on many occasions including his theory of tides and his dismissal of Jesuit theory of comets, it was perhaps the Church's misfortune that on this occasion, on heliocentricism, the great man had been correct. The Galileo affair was less a clash of pure science and religion, but more a complex and unfortunate interplay of personality,politics,hermeneutics,epistemology and lastly (maybe even leastly ) science!! Sources: Brecht B "Galileo" ,Grove Press,New York 1966 Gingerich O "The Galileo Affair" Scientific American 1982 Langford J J "Galileo,Science and the Church" Desclee Co,NY 1966 Southgate K "God, Humanity and the Cosmos" T&T Clark 1999 Woodward K L "How the Heavens Go " Newsweek July 20, 1998 Website Res: The Galileo Project ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. Explore the presentation of the theme of religion in "Angela's Ashes"

    Therefore, it is shown that even though children are taught that First Communion is a holy day, they consider it a happy day for a different, social reason. Frank is given money to signify the holiness of the day, yet he uses the money to see a film, indicating that he does not understand the religious reasons behind the traditions.

  2. Criticism of Religion in Latin American Fictions - Dom Casmurro by Joaquim Maria Machado ...

    Garc�a M�rquez delineates Father Amador in Chronicle of A Death Foretold as an irresponsible Father who's not too worldly. Father Amador does nothing to stop the murder because he claims to have forgotten to mention anything to Pl�cida Linero (81).

  1. The storm-troopers of the counter reformation. Is this an accurate description of the Jesuits?

    He believed that the land where Jesus was from should be re-Christianized. Ignatius failed and returned to Europe to educate himself further. While he was educating himself Loyola picked up several followers, when Loyola thought he was ready to return to the Holy Land he and his supporters embarked to Venice until it was politically safe to the Holy Land.

  2. The Spanish Inquisition.

    given permission to the Spanish rulers to "purify" the people of Spain. However, on April 18th 1482, he proposed a new Papal Bull, and accused the Inquisition in Aragon-Catalonia to be one that was not focused on heresy and salvation of souls, but rather on greed-seeking profit.

  1. Galileo: Heretic?

    This linked in with the following passage from the Holy Bible : "Joshua prayed to the Lord, and said in the presence of Israel, Stand still, O sun, at Gibeon, O moon, in the valley of Aijalon! And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foes.

  2. Studies of Religion

    "Rabbi's assistant" and in this way is an equivalent to the Acolyte in Catholicism. The Gabbai is involved in the logistics of the service and as such ensures that all aspects of it run smoothly and in such a way that the revered nature of the service is kept.

  1. Ministry Project Topic Statement

    I am interested in understanding how to become more effective in the area of my passion. b) On a theological level, Jesus clearly states that, "if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32).

  2. Galileo Galilei was a astronomer, philosopher, and physicist who is closely associated with ...

    Thus, he made several important discoveries, particularly such things as; there were 4 moons of Jupitar, rings on Satarn, phases of Venus, and that the moon had very similar charastics as earth did (mountains, crauters...ect).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work